Translation:It's a quarter to five now.
"A" is required here; "[It is] quarter to five." is bad English.
The sentence is certainly more natural without "now" though.
"It's quarter to five now" is accepted. I would never say it with the "a". Canadian here.
According to Google Ngram Viewer, "It's quarter past" has overtaken "It's a quarter past" in frequency of usage in British English in the last 15 years or so, and is also becoming more common in American English. "It's quarter to" still trails "It's a quarter to" in usage frequency, but not by a very wide margin. So "It's quarter to five now" definitely should be accepted.
https://bit.ly/2FbApB8 (click on "Search lots of books" to generate the graph)
My knowledge of the Chinese language isn't good enough to comment on whether or not the "now" is necessary in this sentence.
America's younger generation doesn't use the phrase "a quarter" for telling time so I don't know how it could be coming more common here. According to your graph, more Americans use the proper "it's a quarter past" than "its quarter past." Even the phrase "it's a quarter to" is more popular in British English than "it's quarter to."
In the US, even people over 65 don't really use that phrase in proper sentences. It's usually reserved for short informal replies. "What's the time? Quarter to six". If they do use it in a proper sentence, they would use "a quarter."
"A" is required by the English expression, and "now" is present in the Chinese sentence so ought to be added to the English.
No, "now" is Chinese-speak; is just a literal translation, which makes the English sentence look like someone translated it from another language. It's as if you were to read a dialogue between two friends meeting , one of them says : "你 吃 了 吗？“ and translate that as :"Did you eat?" when actually, you want to translate it as (for instance): "How is it going?" .....
I agree that 'a' is required. DL should accept without 'now' since it is implied in English, unless in Chinese that part is optional and there to be specific.
"A" is most definitely not required, it sounds bizarre. Is it an American phrase?
In college, I was taught that this sentence should be structured "现在五点差一刻“ This is also the structure that the Pimsleur audio courses use. Does anyone know if it matters if"差一刻” comes before or after the “五点”? To me, the given sentence seems grammatically incorrect, but I'm not a native speaker.
I for one think the now is absolutely necessary (现在). You don't want to just translate every sentence into "perfect" English because then you will just be relying on rote memory rather than actually understanding the characters and the Chinese sentence structure. I actually wished duolingo allowed more "dirty" English rather than sometimes requiring one commonplace Chinese phrase to be translated into the similar commonplane English phrase. Just because they're often said in the same context in each culture doesn't mean they hold the same meaning!
This is very sensible and inspiring for language learning, and deserves a lingot. In English we use the impersonal It to tell the time but such structure is much less used in Chinese. If someone says this without "now", it would become a bit difficult to tell what he's talking about, unless we already knew Time is the topic.
Why is 差 translated as "worse", and how does it fit into this sentence? This is very confusing.
The radical meaning of 差 is "difference". When something is "bad", its difference from the standard is being noticed, and thus 差 is extended to "bad". It would need some comparative words to mean "worse".
我今年成绩很差/My results are bad this year.
拿个B 也没差/There's no difference getting a B.
我一直拿A 的！差很多了！/I used to get A! It's much worse now!
"It is now a quarter before five." should be accepted if "It is now a quarter to five." is accepted.
"Now it's a quarter to five" (Wrong) "It's a quarter to five" (wrong) "It's a quarter to five now" (correct)
So besides having to study Mandarin, I also need to learn psychic abilities to gess up the "correct" answer
Used "It's a quarter to five just now" but the 'just' was not accepted. Has the same meaning as 'right now'
Yes, you left out the apostrophe from "It's". Apart from that it is perfectly good English. It would be most appropriate if you had been watching the clock for a while and wanted to emphasis what the time had progressed to since the last time you mentioned it.
“It is quarter to five" wrong correct answer is "NOW it is quarter to five" Really?????
Why do they need me to add "now" at the end? I'm sick of getting things wrong because Duolingo doesn't understand how people speak in regular conversation.
Duo is confusing here with the sentence structure. It isn't made clear whether 差一刻 should follow 五点 or come before it. Apparently, it's interchangeable, given that they accept both answers. It should be specified which is more often used, though.
I mean, I think you only need to say, fifteen minutes cause technically that is what it means
We use 'to' and 'past' with 'quarter' and 'half' in English time expressions. 'Till' is used to indicate that something will continue up to a specified time.
Patrick_Dark no, "til" is actually incorrect. (It really is, I was suprised to when I heard about that). It is either "until" or "'till". "'til" doesn't exist.
I think the "right" in "right now" is unnecessary here. Your "til" requires an apostrophe (i.e., it needs to be "'til") since it's an abbreviation of "until".
While I am being denied my answer, the "correct answer" as posted on the page is in terrible English..... Should I trust carrying on? Or am I helping Chinese speakers form better sentences in English? Either way, let me know . . .
I agree. There is no need for now. I have never heard "Now" used in that context. Because the Chinese means "just now", maybe both can be accepted with "It's 4:45" as the main solution.