"I am looking for my cell phone."


December 17, 2017

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You do not need 在 here. In fact, (depending on the context which we don't have of course) it might sound awkward. In English, we almost always use the -ing suffix to indicate an ongoing action or that someone is in the process of an action, but in Chinese (正)在 is what emphasizes this idea. (正)在 can be omitted because if you simply say 我找我的手机,the listener knows you mean "I am looking for my cell phone," provided there are no other contextual factors which would suggest otherwise. This would not sound weird to a Chinese person like "I look for my cell phone" might sound unusual to an English speaker, and they are both grammatically correct.

In general Chinese is in many ways very simple compared to most Western languages, and certain indicators and words can often be omitted if you know the context of a sentence. I hope this helps!


why do I need 在 here?


Because 在 as well indicates a state or something in progress like the English "ing-suffix".


Otherwise it would be "I look for my cell phone;" 在 here basically does what '[present of to be] + -ing' does, in English.


Right, but in most languages the simple present is far more common than present progressive forms. Is there a reason to insist on a present progressive construction in Mandarin?


Why it is wrong without 「在」?Here were 你找谁,你找什么 and other - all without「在」,all translated in continious and it were correct answers.


You shouldn't have to repeat 我, “我在找手机” should also be acceptable


Yep, you only NEED to clarify if you are talking about someone other than the subject's cellphone.


Seeing 我 and 找 together makes me understand why i can never tell them apart


I was tired of confusing them, so I went out of my way to look up the radicals for those characters, and this might help you: Radicals typically start from the left or top, so even though the components of both characters are the same, (手 and 戈) they have different radicals. 手 is the radical of 找 and 戈 is the radical of 我. Knowing how they're arranged and the general placement rules helped me notice that difference.


I think no need for 在 here? It could be 正在 The answer is wrong I think

[deactivated user]

    I think this question is misleading. I get that they want us to understand how 在 can be used to indicate a continuus action, but in this sentence, it is still correct to omit it, so both answers should be accepted.


    Although grammatically correct to use 在 to indicate present continuous, it is almost always excluded in reality. It should not be wrong to exclude it here.


    As I understand it, 是 is used for linking nouns, which in English is like using the verb "to be", as in "I am an X" (where X is a noun, not a verb). In this exercise the "am" is just part of the English present continuous tense which can be indicated in Mandarin by using 在 before the verb (but not 是)


    The way this whole program uses 在 is misleading. No use in complaining.


    Why is this not fixed? There is no need for "zai" here--it's not wrong, but it's also not necessary.


    The word for first person (I,me,my) appears the same as the verb for "look for" . Maybe the cross-bar of "I" is broken in "look for". Is that the difference?


    Yep, that's right.


    My screen locks up and will not let me go to the next page.

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    It seems like 我找手机 should be accepted

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