Translation:He wants to buy a new refrigerator in a year.
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Thank you for telling us that. Inconsistency is the word I use a lot with this course.
And sometimes finding the answer they want is like trying to shoot an arrow through one of the rings of Saturn, it is that level of probability.
Chinese is a beautiful language, and I love learning it, but there are times I just have to get up and walk off for a while because the paucity of English answers, and getting marked wrong when I know I have interpreted the Chinese correctly is so damn irritating.
Yet they seem to be AWOL. Other courses are far better maintained.
I used to be a teacher and I would feel like I was deliberately wanting my students to fail with a course like this one.
I cancelled my phone version's exercise at the very end just so that I could come across your comment on the tab version (having had known what the questions would be and how to answer them again quickly...till I reach your comment here) just to be able to see the year where you posted it, hoping it was long ago, hoping Duolingo had had enough time so as to improve inconsistencies and mistakes, so that at the time I am learning ((a year ago from your time ! )), I would be learning hopefully consistent Chinese and not a flawed Chinese, testified by a native speaker ! WUHUUU !!......
The Chinese and the English are both fine here.
And "in a year" would usually be more natural than "in one year", which wouldn't typically be said except to be especially emphatic, and otherwise sounds more like something an ESL speaker would say in this context.
"In one year" should be accepted as an alternative, but this exercise gives no cause to complain about the Chinese.
"In a/one year's time", which some commenters are suggesting, is also used, but it's arguably redundant ("a year" already denotes a period of time). While it may seem clearer in this context to some speakers, it's untrue that "in a year" isn't UK English for the given function. Examples abound in UK media of the phrasing in similar contexts without "time". More:
I was wondering if this meant "a year later" rather than "a year from now" - such as, for example, in a situation like "This July he starts a new job. A year later, he wants to buy a new fridge."
I have a feeling that both would probably work, and that "from now" is simply assumed to be the default starting point if no other events are mentioned.
Not sure if my answer was marked wrong because of this or because I said "fridge" instead of "refrigerator"...
You're right about the first case. It could even be in the next couple of months, or it could be sometime later than that, as long as it's before 15 December of the next year.
But in the second case you would be buying it around December 15 of the next year, or a bit later. It could be slightly before, because we don't usually mean to be so precise, but generally it means an entire year will have passed from the date of the statement.
"Next year" is "明年".
"In a year" means that a year's time will have passed. "Next year" is a little less precise, as it could mean a year's time will have passed, or it could mean "in the next calendar year", in which case how much time will have passed would depend on where we were in the current calendar year (or we could be talking about financial years, school years, etc.).
"He wants to buy a new refrigerator in a year's time" is wrong. "He wants to buy a new refrigerator in a year" is right. So isn't he going to wait for a year and then buy it all at once? Is his buying of a new refrigerator in a year going to be like "Read the whole Bible in a year" or "learn a language in a year" and he is going to buy a little piece of the refrigerator every day?
In this context I'd say "over the course of a year" for the meaning you're trying to distinguish, which I guess would involve some kind of payment plan.
You've demonstrated that the meaning of "in a year" can be different in other contexts, but in the present context I believe it would be considered by most native English speakers to be equivalent to "at the end of the period of time equal to one year", i.e. a year from the date of the statement.
Consider the question "Where do you see yourself in five years?". This doesn't mean "over the course of the next five years", but rather, "five years from now". Since buying a fridge is usually a discrete event, we can assume that the meaning of Duo's sentence is similar.
That said, I certainly don't think "In a year's time" is wrong, though it's arguably redundant, given that "a year" already denotes a period of time without the addition of the actual word "time".