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  5. "I went home late yesterday."

"I went home late yesterday."


January 31, 2018



What is the word order? Day, subject, time, complement? Or subject, day, time, complement? Different sentences seem to be asking for different correct answers.


Chinese is actually very flexible in word order. You could learn the chinese equivalents of english words and use those chinese words in thee exact same order as their engkish equivalence, and you will be understood. However, chinese people find Subject, Verb, Object (common english word order) to be very robotic and boring and repatative. So it's common for Chinese sentences to be formed in a Verb, Object, Subject pattern (Yoda speaks like this). However sometimes the context of the sentence will make one form more appealing than the other basically, chinese is very inconsistent. And when in doubt, speak like chinese yoda... Thats usually the best form.


Never try to force/fixate the structures and logics of other languages, especially English, in order to be fluent another language. Nowadays, so many languages lost its natural and genuine flow of expression due to this poor tendency.


I wrote 昨天很晚我回家 and it was marked wrong, is this duo being funny about word order or am I just wrong? I'm thinking that 很晚 constitutes time ibformation and thus should go at the start of the sentence, but that this is maybe where I'm wrong?


I got the same question.


Is 很 mandatory here?


Yes. It doesn't mean "very" in this context. It's a particle that precedes the adjective.


It is accepted without the 很 for some reason




I thought the time indicator could also go before the subject?


Absolutely correct, I've lived in China for 4.5 years and time always goes before subject


Should this be accepable ... 我昨天回家很晚了


I believe so, but I wrote that on September 6, 2018, and it was still marked wrong.


昨天我很晚回家 was marked wrong. This is driving me crazy. One sentence has the subject first, and in the very next example, the time adverb is the first element. These are grammatically interchangeable. Please fix this. Duolingo is not doing us a favor by creating mistakes where they don't exist.


This is super annoying. I hate getting questions wrong because duolingo cant be consistent on how it wants to see word order


Duolingo should accept both Time + Subject +Object and Subject + Time + Object word order. Both are correct.


我昨天回家很晚 should be accepted right? I thought that both are ok


You'll be understood both ways. So don't worry about it. Chinese is very flexible, if you say the words in a semi-intelligent order you'll be understood.


You don't need 了 in this case? Why not? Is it particular to 回家?


It's because you used 昨天. If you say "yesterday," it is understood that you are talking about the past.


I think, my answer 昨天我很晚回家 should be accepted. Now it is not.


為什麼不可以用「了」? 太口語嗎?


Can a subtle change to the wording be the difference between saying late in the day vs. later than normal? I feel like this one means late in the day (or maybe ambigous?)

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