"我们是三天前到的。"

Translation:It was three days ago that we arrived.

November 30, 2017

31 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/rcc0002

This is a passive English sentence. Not good form. Much better to say "We arrived three days ago"

November 30, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/PeaceJoyPancakes

It's not a passive English sentence; it's a so-called "emphatic" one (which is just to say that it provides a certain emphasis or focus not present in the simple version of the sentence). This particular kind of emphatic structure is called a cleft sentence:

Its appropriateness would depend on the context, but it can be used to elucidate the "是...的" structure:

As for the passive voice, which is completely different, it's explained in the following article, which also touches on the misuse of the term:

December 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/ArtBurnap

The process of the movement of the underlying subject to a place farther back in the sentence, while replacing it with the 'dummy subject' can be referred to as extraposition. The resulting cleft sentence puts emphasis or focus on X in 'It was X, that ....' As others have noted, this is a common way to translate the Chinese 是的 structure.

April 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/varigby

You are right, it sounds unusual for spoken English.

November 30, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Winston298006

But it is actually a precisely correct translation.

August 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/deji80

I think it is too do with the 是... 的 sentence construction. Emphasis is placed on what ever is between those two words. In this case arrival 3 days ago as opposed to any other length of time

December 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/OsoGegenHest

That is not passive

January 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/hippietrail

It's not a passive. To make a passive you need to make the object of the verb the subject and this sentence has no verb with an object. I would say this is in a narrative style like you might read in a novel. So I agree it's a strange word order to pick for a course like this.

Then again, the course assumes we know English and we're studying Chinese. But that doesn't really justify it since it makes a worse match to the Chinese.

January 30, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/hallojanelle

It was 3 days ago when we arrived

March 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/PeaceJoyPancakes

Certainly.

March 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/MatthewEpp5

I dislike the English translation, "we arrived three days ago", is much better. However, this construction is very common in Chinese. The Chinese sentence is very natural.

January 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/alanxoc3

For what purpose does 的 serve in this sentence?

December 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Laurann333

It's about the usage of 是 and 的 together. Because the 是 is there, the sentence would be incorrect without the 的. 我们三天前到了 would also be correct.

January 2, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/hallojanelle

It was 3 days ago when we arrived. This should be accepted

June 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/RobinThor

Audio for 前到 is missing.

February 22, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Kristen490616

I don't understand why "we came three days ago" wouldnt work

January 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/PeaceJoyPancakes

"到" = "arrive"; "來" = "come". The nuance is similar in both languages. "Come" typically implies movement towards the speaker's current location. "Arrive" doesn't. Depending on the context, they may or may not mean essentially the same thing. Here there's no clear context, so you want to stick with the literal translation.

January 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/hongchisheng

I put "we got here three days ago." maybe that's a bit too casual?

February 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/PeaceJoyPancakes

There's no "here" in the Chinese sentence, so it would be a matter of context as to whether your sentence was an accurate translation. If you stick with "arrived", the issue doesn't arise.

February 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/hippietrail

It's not too casual. Often there are multiple correct translations between a pair of languages because a term in one equates with two or three terms in the other. Compare:

  • 带 give / take
  • 回 return / come back / go back / return
  • 回家 go home / come home / return home
September 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Tim728458

This accepted "We arrived 13 days ago" incorrectly.

March 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Companion972425

We came here three days ago was marked wrong.....

May 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/PeaceJoyPancakes

There's nothing about "came" or "here" in the Chinese.

May 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Brett89

I wrote "it has been three days since we arrived". But it was rejected

May 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Camogaming

"We came three days ago" how is that wrong

June 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/PeaceJoyPancakes

Read the other comments.

June 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/AntonSamodelko

How to say shut up in Chinese. beez way

January 17, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/PeaceJoyPancakes

Actually you need a "d" sound: "beads way" / "bì zuǐ" / "闭嘴".

January 17, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/uncannyrain

How about: It's three days ago that we arrived? In the sense of it is (now) 3 days since arrival.

January 31, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/ArtBurnap

Although I might use 'is' (or 'has been') with 'since,' I would use 'was' rather than 'is' here with 'that.' The difference for me in English is whether your point of reference in terms of time is the present or the time at which you arrived.

February 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Elijah.Fen

Oops, 我写成we was arrived three days ago, 错的有些离谱了

April 18, 2019
Learn Chinese in just 5 minutes a day. For free.