"I did not sleep on the plane."


January 5, 2018

This discussion is locked.


I know the literal translation is on 上 (on) the plane, but couldn't we use 里 (in)? It seems to be the exception is almost every other exercise.


I can't understand why people give down votes to a question. Is it caused by bug?

This is actually a good question because the meaning cannot be logically deduced and must be learned. When we mention vehicles, 车上、船上、飞机上 all means "in" or "inside" the vehicle. Use 里 is alright but actually less often, and mainly for direct description of the space inside e.g. 车里有股香烟味. If we specifically talk about the compartment or cabin of the vehicle, such as 车厢、船舱、机舱, then 里 is mandatory.


And do we really need either of them here? I think I remember exercises where indicating a location with just 在 and without 上/下/里/.. was sufficient.


I would say 上 in this context means the equivalent of what we say in English: 'On' the plane, on the bus, on the train, on the boat etc. Just as 上 means on the table when referring to a book or something.

书 在 桌 子 上


In English, we use "in" with vehicles you can't stand up in, and "on" for vehicles where you can stand. This distinction does not seem to appear in Chinese.


Is 我没有在飞机上睡觉 wrong?


Oh, good question! 我没有在飞机上睡觉 is as viable as 我在飞机上没有睡觉. The position indicates the subtle difference of negation on the whole thing of "Sleeping on the plane", vs. negation on "Sleeping" while you are on the plane.
So your sentence would be more suitable when we want to deny something. e.g. The air-hostess accuses me that I have smoked (抽烟) on the plane, then I would probably say 我没有在飞机上抽烟 (while the other sentence order is also acceptable).


上飞机 versus 飞机上 Is there a meaningful difference ?


The first is an action, meaning "to board a plane". The second is a location, meaning "on a plane".


What's the difference between 没有睡觉 and just 没睡觉?


I think 没睡觉 is the standard one but would say there is little or no difference to say 没有睡觉. It depends on the regional habit. Both would be quite well accepted.
It is more important to avoid saying 有睡觉 as it only works in certain areas, and may create a bad habit because of it's proximity to "have done something".


What makes this sentence past tense?


Basically time factor can only be inferred from context. However, 没有 is a negation form for actions assumed to happen, so without any other elements in the sentence saying otherwise, we understand that it is a past action.
It will be helpful to search and know about the difference of 没有 and 不.


Is there a rule about where place goes in a sentence (like there is with the time needing to go at the beginning/after the 'I' etc)? Specifically, why is this wrong: 我没有睡觉在飞机上 ?


I believe that time and location have to go before the verb.






Is 我靠飞机没有睡觉 wrong?


why 在上飞机我没有睡觉 not accepted


上飞机 is an action, to "board a plane" or "get on the plane".

飞机上 is a location: "on the plane"

So you'd want to use the latter with 在 to say where something takes place.

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