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  5. "They are both Chinese."

"They are both Chinese."


November 29, 2017



Shouldn't 他们 and 她们 both be acceptable in absence of knowing the gender of "they"?


I believe when gender is unknown, or, more specifically, when it is not known for certain that "they" are all female, then 他们 is epicene. That is:
- 她们 = "they" all female (only)
- 他们 = "they" all male
- 他们 = "they" mixed male and female
- 他们 = "they" of unknown gender
- 它们 = "they" inanimate objects, or animals.


This is true, but in the absence of any real context, we can imagine any of the above contexts.

In other words, if we were using this sentence in an actual conversation, we'd have some grounds to choose among the different homophones, but in the absence of such grounds, it makes sense for Duo to be liberal in its acceptance of alternatives.


Since it is referring specifically to two people (and not more), “他们俩都是中国人" should also be accepted. 俩 represents "two" more quantitatively than just 都. The given translation more accurately states that "They are all Chinese," not specifically "both".


Is this accurate? Isn't 都 'all'?


In a conversation there would be some context by which it was clear that "All two of them", i.e. "Both of them" or "They ... both", was implied, whereas in this exercise we just get the context from the sentence we're translating.

However, there are ways to be more specific. For example, I tried "他们两个都是中国人" and it was accepted.


Good. 两个都 does indeed mean "both;" 他们两个都 means "both of them." Thank you for letting us know that Duo accepts this phrase.


Wtf, I am Chinese and have never heard of "do" as both.




Is 都 necessary? Isn't it already implied that they are both Chinese if you say 他们是中国人。


It's a matter of emphasis. When 都 is added, "both/all" is emphasized; when 都 isn't present, it might be 中国人 that's emphasized.


我认为“两个人”对。两个人 "both people; " 一个人 "one person" or (even "alone," "by myself," etc., depending on context).


Should "他们俩是中国人“ be accepted?


It'd be "They two are Chinese."


Which would be a rare sentence in English. "They two" isn't often used. Colloquially, I would say it's virtually never used, and even formally I wouldn't really expect to hear it. I imagine many native speakers would even think it was wrong (though it's grammatically correct).

"The two of them are Chinese" and "Those two are Chinese" would be common ways of saying it. And both of these are essentially equivalent to "They're both Chinese" and "Both of them are Chinese", so TherMaster11's sentence should be accepted.


(Nice to see you again, PeaceJoyPancakes (^v^))

Logically, both convey the same factual information, but the emphases (in Chinese) are slightly different (rhetorically different).

Since Duolingo's translations are usually quite wild, I guess it's fair for it to accept TherMaster11's answer.


I did the same combination, why ia an error ?


When is Guo needed?


sometimes on Canadian its left out


For 加拿大, best leave it out. 加拿大国 may be seen now and then, but it feels like Canada-land. ;o)


Because it is based on the english pronounciation for example england that means 英国。国 kind of means land but also country.


what does actually the 都 means?


It can mean "both, all."

It has many other meanings, too.


they're is no "both" in the Chinese. you need 倆都 for "both". the chinese says "they all are chinese".

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