1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Chinese
  4. >
  5. "我们迟到了,怎么办?"


Translation:We are late, what should we do?

January 6, 2018



"What to do?" is a pretty grammatically weak translation and shouldn't form the suggested answer. "What do we do?" is much better


Yes, as is "What can we do?".


I was thinking "what should we do "


I would say it's actually overly grammatical. It's the kind of thing I would expect to hear in Shakespeare or at least a wealthy character in a very old movie. Definitely not what most people would regard as "normal English" these days. Shouldn't be the default answer.

[deactivated user]

    Funny you should mention Old English times - This is a video clip of 'Robinhood Men in Tights' (Mel Brooks film) saying exactly that - "What to do?" https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=robinhood+men+in+tights+what+to+do&view=detail&mid=4D30B7EEE6210530F5B04D30B7EEE6210530F5B0&FORM=VIRE


    I'm ok with 'what to do '


    "What to do" ... who in real life says that? I grew up in LA, so maybe it's an LA thing to not use that form.


    I think it's just very old fashioned.


    Nor Pennsylvania. I really only heard it on Saturday Night Live in the nineties and then thought people who said it after that were quoting.


    This is not proper english unless its a whimsical rhetorical statenent.


    why it is ''we are late'' if the 了 indicate the past?


    我们迟到了 - We are late

    迟到 - to be late/to arrive late

    了 - though used to indicate the past, it expresses "now" situation in this case. See here




    That's a very helpful link. Thank you.


    Does this mean they have arrived already? If they are late but haven't arrived yet, would they just say:


    '(...), what now?' should be accepted. Even if the Chinese sentence says literally 'what to do', in this case, 'what to do' and 'what now' are interchangeable. And in a majority of other cases.


    The second sentence sounds pretty Chinglish to me. "What do we do," "What do we do now," "What now," or any number of things sounds better as an inquiry. "What to do" is normally used contemplatively or rhetorically rather than as a real interrogative: "You're running late for your flight. They don't let you board. What to do? Listen to my five essential steps for saving your trip..."


    "What to do" is not grammatical because it has no subject and no (conjugated) verb. It is a fragment rather than a clause, and exactly what my Chinese English students would say. It should be "What should we do?" or "What do we do?"


    "What shall we do?" should be accepted. It is more idiomatic that "What to do?"


    "What are we going to do?" is what I would say. Or rather, "what are we gonna do?"


    This is incorrect!! It should be "what do we do"


    What to do? FeelsBadMan


    Nobody says 'what to do' - how about 'what shall we do'?


    I've written down all of the answers in Chinese, English and Pinyin from every lesson I have done. Now I come back to practice and they have changed the answers. The answer here used to be: "We are late, what to do?"

    Please Duolingo since I have noticed this before with other lessons, if you change the answer, can you leave the old one in place as well, and not make it even harder to get things correct in this course. This is just silly.


    Is this just another variation of "我们很晚"?


    "We are running late" should be accepted.


    I translated this "We are running late..." This seems like it should be an acceptable idiom. Am i missing something?


    Mr teacher Please check your English "我们迟到了,Wo men zhi dao le : this is a past question so the answer must be use past temp to reply. There fore we have to reply: we were late not WE ARE LATE.


    The more i am better at chinese, the more my English becomes the worst..lol

    Learn Chinese in just 5 minutes a day. For free.