"你正在做什么?"

Translation:What are you doing right now?

January 25, 2018

23 Comments
This discussion is locked.


[deactivated user]

    What's the difference in usage between 正在 and 现在?


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

    "正在" is something like "right in the middle of", whereas "现在" is a more general and less emphatic "at present" or "now", which can be used in a broader set of scenarios.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sanna440

    Apparently 现在 is more of a time marker while 正在 is more bound to the verb. 正在 can't be placed before the subject, for example, but has to come right before the verb. Someone compared it to "-ing" in another thread.


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

    Yes, that's mostly true, except that "正在" doesn't have to come immediately before the verb per se. It has to come after the subject, and more precisely, between the subject and the verb, but it can precede adverbial modifiers including phrases.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/grieve.sam

    Is 你现在做什么 also acceptable?


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

    People would usually say 你在做什么 or 你在干嘛 for more informal situation


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BarAdal3

    Does 正 really mean right now or does it only put emphasis on the continuous tense?


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

    I wish Mr.rM was here to answer!


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

    Mr.rM seems to have disappeared completely, as have all of his posts, and a lot of useful discussions that followed.


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

    Oh that's too bad. I noticed his points no longer increasing.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/paulosm0

    Who is Mr.rM??


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

    A native Chinese speaker who was helpful in these discussions.


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

    I'm practicing 中文 with Duolingo.


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

    I would also add "What are you up to?" as one of the options. Is it more colloquial.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jieke694731

    What are you currently doing?


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

    In English "right now" and "currently" are very different. But maybe they both translate to the same thing in Chinese?

    Currently = these days = which project you've been working on, maybe even for the last year

    Right now = this very moment


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/new7gen

    What are you doing should be accepted


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

    No, you left 正在 out so that doesn't work


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

    Sometimes it will accept "Currently" other times it will tell me I'm wrong. Duo being consistently inconsistent yet again.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Stephen241623

    Is there any good reason that “What are you doing presently?” is rejected? “Right now” seems weirdly intrusive to me, so unless this is also something I should avoid saying in Chinese…?


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

    I'd let "presently" through, but it sounds oddly formal to me.

    I don't have any issue with "right now", and I think it's natural, common, and neutral in North American English in this sort of scenario, absent any special emphasis by the speaker.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Neil614539

    "What are you doing just now" is not acceptable.

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