"The students went to school at 10 yesterday."


January 8, 2018

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Why is 昨天十点学生上学。wrong?


You were almost correct: you can put 昨天first but the noun needs to come after it: i.e. 昨天学生十点上学。remember, the time should come after the noun (学生) and then action/location (上学)


I did this and it says it is wrong...


As of 10.17.21 this option is marked correct.


请,so if the time comes before the noun, how the hour will be considered?

Then, would 学生昨天十点上了学 be correct (referring to 了,because student aren't supposed to spend the night at school until the day after)? 谢谢!


You can add the 了 since it refers to completed action. It isn't strictly necessary since 昨天 (a reference to the past) is already present


that is already acceptable, i just tried it


2021/12/20 it's correct


where is 了 or something to indicate the past tense? 在 is a 'state' verb, so it doesn't require '了' in the past sentence. e.g. 我昨天在纽约。 Are 上 and 下 ’state' verbs which don't require 'le' to indicate the past tense?


Again 了 is not past tense. Chinese does not have tenses. Don't get fooled by Duolingo's notes or anyone asserting that.

了 is either an indicator of change of state, or a modal interjection about a state.

Question: When did the students go to school yesterday?
Answer: 学生昨天十点上学。
The answer provides the time only so 了 is not necessary.

Question: Were there any students in the dormitory at 10:30 yesterday?
Answer: 学生昨天十点上学 。十点半没有学生在宿舍里。
The answer provides a change of state of the students (staying in the dorm => gone to school). 了 is required.

So it only depends on the context you want to express.


昨天 also pretty obviously states that it is in the past, so that's how you know. Context is important in Chinese


This isn't a sufficient explanation though. The example "你上个周末做了什么" was provided in Duolingo and “上个周末” clearly identifies the past. I asked a native speaker who confirmed that the tense in that sentence would be confusing without 了. People often say that the use case from “做了什么” signifies "completion" as opposed to change, but there is no clear logical reason in my mind why 上 isn't an action to be completed with 了 in the same way. My best guess is that either the completion marker 了 doesn't apply here because 上学 is understood to involve an intransitive verb with an indirect object, or the completion/past tense 了 simply has a few semi arbitrary usage-based exceptions. I have not seen an explanation of any simple rule to clarify this one way or the other.


I agree with you that ”做了什麼?“ does require the 了。It sounds a bit awkward without it

With that said, a question is being compared with affirmative statements here. I think the structures then are a bit different

I wonder when answering
你上个周末做了什么? if:

is OK for a negative response. It certainly doesn't require a 了 due to 没(有)

因为新冠病毒(corona virus)我上个周末一直留在家里.
As an affirmative answer, I believe this should be fine as well


Why are there different characters for "school?" I thought that we were using xuexiao for school. Or are we talking about a different kind of school?


There is literally no word here that means "school". 上学 means "go to school" and more accurately refers to going somewhere for the learning.


So if you were going to university (a place of learning), would it be 上学 or 上大学?


大学 is used to mean 'university'

中学 - high school
小学 - elementary school

校 (jiao) and 学校 - can be used for school


I think you would say 去大学上学 and if you search that phrase in Google you get 20,000 hits or so so it seems correct enough. It's like "go to the university to begin learning" in this case.


Good question. I would also like to know about this


The plural for students is usually "xueshengmen" in my experience. The "men" is missing here. (Apologies - no pinyin accents available.)


There is really no need to specify plural property of nouns in Chinese and Duo's sentence is just fine. Depending on the context it may be better to add 們 to emphasize the collective idea. The difference is never a substantial one.


But don't we need a 'qu' before school? Like xuesheng zuotian Shi dian qu shengxue


You dont need qu because the shang in "shang xue" is used to say they are going. It would be the same when saying I am going to work. You would say "wo shang ban" not "wo qu shang ban"




学生昨天十点上学。 •上学 = go to school •学校 = school •上学了 = went to school Please, correct if I did wrong.


where is "went"?


Would it also be correct to write 学生昨天十点到学校走? If not, why not?


In Mando, I'm not 100% sure「到...走」is a correct, meaningful phrase. I want to say it is not.

You can just use 「到」without the 「走」at the end to mean "arrived at..."
You can also use 「到 ... 去」with「去」as the ending to mean "went to" instead of「上学」


If I were to re-translate the answer back into English, it would be: The student went to school at 10am yesterday. As someone who actually speaks Chinese, but lack the fluency in recognising enough characters, I think the Chinese sentence is too general to be interpreted into the stated English statement


There is no verb in this sentence. So that's all right in Chinese?


上 can be considered a verb.
It means go although it applies to specific places only.
上学 go to school
上网 go online
上厕所 go to toilet/bathroom


It's also like that with 下, if I'm not mistaken. (下学= to leave/finish school; 下班= to leave/finish work, etc.)


“去学校” should be accepted, no?

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So we can't say 去了學校?


I think that 去学校 literally means "to go to (the) school (building)", whereas 上学 is more like "to begin studying / learning", or we might say "start school".

上 has a lot of different meanings / usages / functions, hard to map it one-to-one in English.

A useful analogy in English might be "get". As a verb it means "to obtain", but that is at best only indirectly related to what it means in phrases like "get angry" (i.e. "become angry"), or "get ready to go" (i.e. "become ready to go"). How would I explain to a non-native speaker what "become" means? I think it would be difficult. ☺️

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