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  5. "他在看书。"

"他在看书。"

Translation:He is reading a book.

January 4, 2018

28 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dave168907

I seem to remember that in previous lessons the word "book" was left out of the translation. "He is reading" should be accepted, right?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SunnyWu46376

Native speaker here (just here to practice my reading). It really should be accepted along with "He is studying" because we in China use it for both meanings.


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

Maybe they thought it was too ambiguous without saying that it was a book. I mean the sentence could also mean that he is looking, right?


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

Yes I also thought the same


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

It can't just be 他看书?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jerryy2012

“在” means "正在“. It is the marker of progressive tense. "在看书" means "is reading a book".


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

Those little grammar nuggets in the comments are gold.

"他看书" then means "He reads books", in a general sense. Makes a lot more sense now.


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

It can be, in the right context, but "在" does clarify the progressive aspect.


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

A translation proposed by Duolingo is "he is reading a book". Is it necessarly a book, or can this phrase be used if he was reading something else (like a journal)?


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

书 does mean book specifically. There are more precise words for journals/diaries etc. 看书 can also mean studying though. 看 is a verb also used to watch things such as films and to look at something. I think of it more as "to consume with one's eyes" instead of read/watch. Unless you already mentioned a book I'm not sure if in a real conversation it would be clear what he was doing without using 书


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rb_9

In English, “he is reading” would imply a book (as opposed to, say, a newspaper) but that answer isn’t accepted.


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

No: in English, "he is reading" in no way implies he is reading a book; rather, a book is just one of many things he could be reading.

In fact, in English, "reading" also applies to activities that have nothing to do with words on a page: a doctor "reads" your temperature, a fortuneteller "reads" your future, a psychic "reads" your mind, poker players "read" their opponents' betting patterns and reactions.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Roz789

So I know 他在看书 is supposed to be he is reading a book in English, but mine said the answer was "they will be back in 1 hour". Major glitch that devs might want to fix lol


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Steve86340

"He is reading" should be an acceptable answer


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/P5zG5

看书 is not reading a book. Its odd. One should say 读书


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

In fact they both mean "read(ing) a book" or "read(ing) books", though "读书" is also often used to mean "study".

(I believe "看书" can also be used to mean "study", but in a more limited sense, as in to be currently sitting at one's desk and reading one's books, but I'll have to defer to native Chinese speakers on this point.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jasmine959

He reads books is not okay?


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

No. "在" means the activity is happening right at the time when the sentence is being said.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlexanderK218814

How to say "he is reading THE book"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cecil164832

If you are referring to a specific book, you give the title or other identifying feature. Or, you could say he is reading "that" book. 他在看那本书。


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Imnuts7

读书 is also fine here.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tori-chan_221B

"读书" means studying, that's different from reading books.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tori-chan_221B

This can also be translated as "He is reading books".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cecil164832

I hate the translations! "He is reading a book right now" is perfectly correct!


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

他现在看书。


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DebbieBail8

it should be 读书


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SteveCarre3

That translation would mean he is STUDYING the book. not reading it for fun or leassure

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