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  5. "What are you looking for?"

"What are you looking for?"


December 14, 2017



When DL ask "Who are you looking for?" - it doesn't use「在」:你找谁。 But if I don't use「在」here — DL says that I am wrong.

If anybody knows what's the secret?


Either should be accepted. Zai is the better grammar but no zai is widely spoken in everyday language.


I think that, when it says "你找谁", it actually says " who you look for?" (simple present), but because it is no proper English grammar, it is translated as "who are you looking for?"; I want to point out that the phrase is not in its continuous form "你在找谁?" (the actual "who are you looking for?"), but the English language doesn't have a simple present equivalent, unlike other languages like Spanish ("¿A quién busca(s)?").


Reported 6/5/2020.


I think it would be nice to have some consistency between questions. I answered this '你找什么?', and got it wrong. The next one, 'Who are you looking for', I thought OK, I'm learning, answer '你在找谁?', which was also marked wrong... So, which is it? With or without 在? Or are they both right, in which case why aren't they both accepted? And some explanation would be nice, too.

These kind of issues in this course are driving me nuts.


I'm good with no consistency. I want it all, all the different ways everything can be said ever


Yes...but if there are 2 accepted correct ways to say it i want both to be accepted by the app.


duolingo's pretty messed up


These issues with the inconsistent requirement of "在“ in the answers are still unresolved as of 13 April 2019. I have submitted several reports to have this corrected. It's quite frustrating to waste my time working only to fail my test because I didn't memorize which answers require some specific character to satisfy Duolingo. I want to learn the language, not memorize how to satisfy Duolingo's inconsistent requirements.


Sometimes "to be looking for" is presented as 找, and sometimes 在找 is mandatory.


在 indicates continuous action here. E.g. 我看书。I read books. / 我在看书(呢)。I am reading a book (right now).


在 makes it like the present continuous


I understand why including the zai is sometimes a better translation, for instance if you mean that you are in the middle of looking for something. However, the Chinese sentence without the zai would be translated most naturally into “what are you looking for?” in English. I doubt (but correct me if i’m wrong) that Chinese saying it without zai would mean “what do you look for?” more often than “what are you looking for”?

It is not clear from the English that right this moment is what is needed here.

But maybe they just tend to use zai in this sentence and I just have to learn it that way? Happy to be told it’s just how people tend to say it.


you can use both, duolingo is too restrictive in this and incorrect


"你找什么?" should also be correct.


why doesnt "你找什么" work? chinese people hardly even say the "在" when they are speaking for real.


I know 在 is used to make the sentence into present progressive tense (present continuous), but why is it absent in the sentence "你找谁?" when its translation "who are you looking for?" is also in present progressive tense? In that case shouldn't "你找什么?" be also correct?


Adding zai changed the english meaning.

What are you currently looking for?

Instead of what are you looking for


When asking for the same question to be translated from english to chinese, only 你找什么 is accepted. Totally inconsistent. This is shameful. Chinese on DL needs to be taken back to alpha at this rate.


Would 你找在什么 also be correct? Is there any leeway in word order, or is that just plain wrong?


The word order is not correct.


No that's wrong grammatically.

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