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"We will see a friend at three in the afternoon."

Translation:我们下午三点钟会见朋友。

January 16, 2018

16 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Trixy-la-Louve

Is 钟 mandatory here?


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

No 钟 isn't mandatory, it's clear that we're talking about time without it.


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

I wonder the same thing. I put 下午三点我们会见朋友, which I think should be accepted, unless I'm missing something.


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

The first time I answered this example i put 钟 in because previous sentences put me in the habit of it. This time I skipped it because the English sentence they gave doesn’t use ‘o’clock’, just ‘at three’.

It was marked wrong (skipping 钟)but I think it must be an oversight because before we learned 钟 we made lots of acceptable sentences without it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/richard711603

Would 'a friend' be 一个朋友. I would have translated the answer given as 'We will see friends at thee in the afternoon'. Will a native speaker clarify.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/George792719

I should be accepted because in previous examples, if it was only one friend, it was written as 一个朋友. If you just write 朋友 it could be more than one. The English question does say: "We will see a friend..." = one friend.


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

I also wrote: 我们下午三点钟会见一个朋友。

I wanted to be precise in translation and without the 一个 it would just mean ‘will see friends’. Sure, it doesn’t need 一个 but I agree that it would seem (to me) to be a valid part of the translation if included.

Sorry, not a native speaker. Have reported my sentence though so hopefully the mods team can accept it if acceptable.


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

I think it should be accepted tho most native speakers would think that's a bit "wordy" unless you were trying to emphasise that it's ONE friend.


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

Yes, I agree, most of the time 一个 isn’t necessary and both 我们下午三点钟会见一个朋友 and 我们下午三点钟会见朋友 should be accepted.

It depends on context and how important the ‘a’ is.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/purplelotus88

We would think that, esp. in English, but in Chinese they're ok with ambiguity in regard to number. You will see many times sentences that may reference 1 or many things/people.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/N.Mai

Why is the "钟" needed? A few lessons ago they would have accepted without it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Michael331687

I was confused as well but I think they are forcing us to use it, to teach us that is appropriate grammar and usage... Otherwise we'll keep using 点 solo and flip out when when we're finally exposed to 点钟


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JacquiBarn1

Does anyone have a mnemonic to help me remember the correct sentence order? I read the chinese as "we afternoon 3 o'clock will see friend" which in my brain is horribly wrong, so every time I have to write the chinese I actually get it wrong - I wrote "我们会见朋友下午三点钟" Please help! Also - would native speakers object to my sentence order, would it be understood at all? Lol


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/richard711603

subject, when, where, action - usually works out:
we, at 3 in the afternoon, will see a friend
我们,下午三点钟,会见朋友
A native Chinese speaker would still understand, but it would sound odd to them


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JacquiBarn1

Thanks Richard


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

Richard711603 covers it.

I remember it as: S V O (Subject Verb Object) ...and then add in the time or place (S T O V or S P O V).

In English we go from small/specific to big (addresses, time, etc e.g. 15 Long Road, Smalltown, or 5pm Sunday the 5th of March) whereas Chinese go from big to small, sort of zeroing in on the target. Eg for an address: country, town, street, number (中国,北京,长安路,十一楼)Or for time: year, month, day, time (2020 八月,星期一,八点).

And when I think of it that way it seems sensible to always put the time or place first, setting the scene, before the rest of the sentence.

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