"他今天突然有重要的会议,所以不能来。"

Translation:Unexpectedly, he has an important meeting today, so he cannot come.

December 16, 2017

50 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hq4

"He suddenly has an important meeting today" is incorrect. It should read "He suddenly had."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BrendanKav1

"He suddenly has a meeting" sounds very unnatural to me.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/new7gen

It only makes sense if a narrator was saying this


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/elmanisero777

i agree, but i could see a very niche use of this:

1: "Why cant John come today?"

2: "oh, he suddenly has an important meeting, so he can't come"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Harley497499

Agreed. I would use the present tense "has" to subtly suggest skepticism, frustration, or showing contempt.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nevin711542

It could be later on in the day and it does not require future tense. You can use the present tense for future purposes. For example, I have an appointment today is legitimate English. For clarity, it might be better to say, "He suddenly learned that he has an important meeting today."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DesmondAllen

It sounds like a line in a play explaining the action.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RegWong1

This literal translation is so unnatural, it is laughable. DL, you must remember that Chinese syntax is not English syntax. To prevent derision of the translator, the English sentence should be rephrased to read "He cannot come because he has been suddenly called to an important meeting." This captures the complete essence of the Chinese sentence and it is expressed in proper English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LinhNguyenRXL

Seriously, as I said in the other comment: this is a language course, not a novel writing competition. To learn a language it is necessary to comprehend how its grammatical structure works, so I actually think that it's best to stick as closely syntax-wise to the original as possible, unless it's an idiomatic phrase or way too unnatural to translate literally.

If you really want more natural-sounding English, you can put it in the past tense without compromising the syntax: "He suddenly had an important meeting today, so he couldn't come" (I just tried and was accepted today - 22/01/17). "He cannot come because he has been suddenly called to an important meeting" is a ridiculously far stretch and doesn't show your ability to grasp the construction of the sentence, besides its general meaning.

Also, Duolingo is a machine, not a human grader - do you really expect it to anticipate all these far-fletched paraphrases?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/George792719

They should accept many answers that are correct in English, otherwise on the longer sentences they should offer multiple choice answers to choose from. As the sentences get longer it gets far more difficult to get every bit correct. And English is a very malleable language compared to Chinese. Many times I have understood the Chinese correctly - that's why I'm here - yet some slight re-arrangement of the acceptable Duolingo answer in English marks me wrong. Everybody complains about this over and over again, yet they do nothing. Just read up on the many reviews of this course and many people say exactly the same things.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IanMcFarla17

I don't buy this. All through this course DL has given translations that don't reflect the syntax at all, but rather aim (with varying success) at 'idiomatic' renderings. At some point, there need to be human beings (presumably at least one native Chinese speaker and one native English speaker) looking over translations to try to give some meaningful control on what counts as correct. Otherwise, the learner is stuck in the unedifying game of trying to guess what DL wants (resulting in the near impossibility of a perfect score until arriving at level 1 or 2, after seeing how DL wants you to translate things).

I put down, 'He unexpectedly has an important meeting today, so is not able to come.', which reflects the syntax perfectly, yet is marked wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kris391856

Unexpectedly would be a more natural English phrase.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KX3.

That'd be 出乎预料(的).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/svhschinese

Today can come first in English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/original_orio

Is "He suddenly has an important meeting, so he cannot come today." Acceptable as well?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BZH1423

If you want to get really technical, this would not be acceptable. For instance, if the event that "he" was planning to attend takes place tomorrow morning, but this sudden meeting takes place halfway across the world tonight, then "he" might reasonably say that he cannot come tomorrow because of the sudden meeting today.

I realize that the above example is a bit of a stretch, but hopefully it helps. The placement of the time in the correct clause is important.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/coffiie

"Unexpectedly, he has an important meeting today, so he cannot come." doesn't sound like something a person would actually say >:c


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jmseligman

Both "He suddenly has an important meeting today, so he couldn't come." and "He suddenly had an important meeting today, so he cannot come." were rejected for me. Actually, I think this example is quite funny because of cultural differences. A meeting is usually arranged in advance so shouldn't be "sudden". Or at least that is the cultural conceit:. And if someone suddenly has another meeting to go to it implies that you are less important, which is the truth, of course, but a little taboo, so people usually talk around it: "He's been called away", or something like that.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IanMcFarla17

Apparently, the ONLY translation that is accepted for this sentence is the precise wording in the accepted answer. No variations allowed. (E.g., 'Unexpectedly he has an important meeting today so cannot come.' was rejected).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/George792719

Honestly Duolingo will you please fix your answers instead of adding more gimmicks.

It is perfectly ok to say in English "Unexpectedly today, he has an important meeting so he cannot come." It's what the Chinese says too, but of course I'm marked wrong. This is the worst thing about this course, embellishments are added but not the paucity of acceptable English answers.

We are here to learn Chinese not your limited English

Ridiculous.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Berjiault

I would like to just point out how much i appreciate this sentence. Using all the words in a lesson section together!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bananasinpajamas

Seriously, FIX THE 她/他 ISSUES! It's ridiculous that these have been known for months with tons of complaints and no one has done anything.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LaBiciEsMia

"unexpectedly, he has an important meeting today, so cannot come" is perfectly valid English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/J3nny012

"He suddenly has a meeting today so cannot come"

Incorrect


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/J3nny012

(i forgot to include "important").

Why is "he" needed in second part of sentence?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeterTorra

I wrote "Today he...", but the correction program apparently doesn't allow us to start a sentence with "Today", that should be corrected.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Anon341685

I see no reason I was marked incorrect for opting to state when (i.e. today) at the end of the sentence. The meeting took priority over the anticipated visit at the same time.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tommy556270

'He has an important meeting today suddenly so he cannot come' should be correct


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MayleneNguyen

"Today he has an important meeting unexpectedly so he can't come" sounds more natural but its marked wrong


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/eBayhotsauce

"He suddenly had an important meeting today, so he couldn't come." is not accepted, but it should work.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DERICKB0YD

At least two weeks now, this 5th Tree presents the Answers not the Questions in a few cases! Good luck for the fix!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/teachme_b

Grammatically incorrect. Unexpectedly is past tense, so it should be "... had an important meeting today, so he couldn't come."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kieron657731

He unexpectedly has an important meeting so he cannot come..... In English, we can use this adverb before or after the subject. In fact, we usually use all adverbs after subjects. For example, we don't usuallt say 'Fast, runs the dog' (unless we are Yoda). No, we say 'The dog runs fast.' In this case, you can do it both ways but my sentence is better than yours and should be accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eoin790683

This translation is in very broken English!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eoin790683

Argh, my second post on this one. Now Duo is not accepting: "Unexpectedly, he has an important meeting today, so cannot come." Duo is insisting on the second "he", which isn't necessary!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/fateme.x

Does 会议 means Important?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SallyMorto2

No native English speaker would ever say this. Who composes these sentences?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/norman.eis

Can't = cannot. There is nothing improper about the usage.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ErnestoZav

It is reported speech so it should be in the past and that suddenly just doesn't cut it. It feels like we are being graded on our English


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WIMDispa

What is the difference between "suddenly" and "unexpectedly" ? I expect an answer from Duolingo with one day !!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/K8Y8Sister

the past tense is more appropriate, the hints should be added and "He suddenly had an important meeting so he couldn't come" should be accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SantaRPG

Maybe the true purpose of these courses is to teach the people who make these lessons english


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rob207442

Has should be had


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RaiseTheLite

It was already inputted for me


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/oyyoongyeo

In English its correct sentence. It should not be marked wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sisi146490

Already entirely translated


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ash232991

Is anyone else getting seriously bored of how broken this course is?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LinhNguyenRXL

Oh please. These people put in a crazy amount of time and effort to build this completely free course you can take totally free of charge, and you're complaining about just a little imperfect grammar?

And for God's sake - this is a language course, not a novel writing competition. To learn a language it is necessary to comprehend how its grammatical structure works, so I actually think that it's best to stick as closely syntax-wise to the original as possible, unless it's an idiomatic phrase or way too unnatural to translate literally.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LinhNguyenRXL

If you don't like this "broken" course, you don't have to take it. There are tons of competitor apps out there that charge like $10 monthly.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RegWong1

The translator needs a qualified English tutor who is also well versed in Chinese.

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