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  5. "请问,几位?"


Translation:Excuse me, how many of you?

December 16, 2017



It should be "Excuse me, how many?"


Almost. 位 is a polite measure word for people. So when you ask "ji wei" you pretty much mean "how many (people)?". It would be like ordering tea for the table and saying "I woul like three cups (of tea, obviously)". I hope this helps.


Bravo, it's very accurate.


"Excuse me, how many?" Accepted 09/01/2019


i know right! Thats what i wrote!


This does not sound native English to me. But English is very regional. We would say, how many of you are there?


I put Excuse me, how many are you? Which i think is equally correct and more likely to be heard in speech.


Um... I believe "How many?" is also a good translation of this. In the real world, nobody says "Excuse me, how many of you?" This was in my placement test so I may have to relearn some things I already know, which is (frankly) a waste of my time.


The hover-over hints for 位 are really, really useless and wrong on this one. Reported 12/16/17. Please someone fix these, please. It's a major weak point of the course.


The hover hints as seen above are:

  • (classifier)
  • place

Classifier is a the "good" one while Place is a meaning not applicable to this sentence.

What did you get? And did you suggest how it should look like?


Actually, I imagine “how many places do you need?” is the meaning of the sentence above. (Places at a restaurant might even mean place settings). But there are a limited number of contexts when it is explicitly used in English. (It’s often implied but not everyone who speaks English is conscious of the history of it).

I think this is one of those sentences we just need to learn when the native mandarin speaker would say it and then figure out what the native English speaker would say in the same context. And yes, that means a long time while people come up with random English idiom and claim it to be the best answer.

Ilias merentis above gave the best answer. “位 is a polite measure word for people”. You’ll have to figure out how to format it for duolingo hints I suppose.


How many persons is correct and should be accepted. Please, Duo Lingo staff, please fix this. These Chinese expressions may be translated many ways that are equivalent, and the "correct" answers frequently are "interpretations" rather than literal. For example "persons" or "people" are not accepted in this example, and they are perfectly correct.


"How many persons?" just sounds wrong. You don't approach reception and say "we are 5 persons". One person. Two (or more) people.

"How many people?" is accepted.


As a native speaker of English and a linguist, I guarantee that "how many persons" is entirely correct English.


Technically correct, but noone speaks like that. Its 'people' for the plural. But +1 for being my style of pedant!


"excuse me how many people" is accepted


The given English is not a sentence without a verb. How many of you are there? would be grammatical and much more idiomatic.


"Excuse me" is a terrible translation for "请问" because they don't really have the same function.

You say "excuse me" to get someone's attention before asking a question. But if you're seating people at a restaurant you already have their attention. You're saying 请问 to be polite. "How many people, please?" or "How many in your party, please?" would be much better.

Yeah, "how many of you" is a terrible translation too. "How many are you" is OK, though it sounds a little pretentious to me. "How many of you are there" would be good.

Report, report.


"How many, please?" is fine too. "People" is clear from the context and likely to be left out. I also often hear "For how many?", which is short for "A table for how many?"


Where did the "of you" come from? Sometimes it feels like I'm missing the story the course is telling me.


It’s the English, not you, not the Mandarin.

In English we need so many more details just to make the sentence complete.

Here, “how many of you” helps us to understand (in English) that you’re talking about people.

In Mandarin, all that’s needed is 位.

Personally, it would be more natural to say “how many of you are there?” but that’s a lot of words to translate two characters in mandarin. That’s the challenge with translation between such different languages.


Still, it could be: "How many of them?", "How many people?", "How many of us?" or just "How many" depending on context.


Can you also say 几位人? If not, ia it juat wrong, or is there a syntax reason?


It is wrong, but not because of grammar. It is because of social reason. If you use 位, that means you are referring to some people you have respect for them. In such case you won't call them just 人. You would use any terms that are more decent. e.g. 几位客人?How many guests (are there)?


Something went wrong with this. Had it word for word (请问, 几位?), but it didn't accept it.


Seems to need a space after the question mark...


I typed the exact same answer and it did not accept. Duo pls wake up


"May I ask how many are in your party?" works as of 27 March 2020.


I would never guess "how many" from the hover-over hints (classifier, place). This is idiomatic and should at least be covered in a note on this lesson.


To me (native English) this sounds as though the person is asking if I have multiple personalities xD. I would say, "how many are you?" or "how many people are you?".


The fact is that the writers of this course do not have a complete grasp of English at the native speaker level. We can see that from some of the errors in the 'Tips and notes', about which we cannot offer corrections or comments, AFAIK. But hey, it is free...


Would "how many seats" be wrong?


That typically wouldn't be a natural way to say it in the US.


'Pardon' implies the speaker has failed to hear a previous response, it does not seem right here.

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