Translation:You are not Chinese.
I got marked wrong for "None of you are Chinese" and it said I should have put "Both of you aren't Chinese" instead, which just seems like a much more awkward way to say it. Also that seems kind of wrong since 你们 doesn't specify two people, just more than one, right? Am I wrong or did I just get tripped up on a technicality (like maybe the system is specifically looking for the word "not"?).
Theres a distinction between those two in English. The first would mean some of the group are Chinese, some are not. The latter would mean none of the group are Chinese.
English (especially American dialects) doesn't have a good 2nd person plural, which is why there is a lot of regional dialects that created words for this: y'all, youse, yins, youse guys, etc.
I wish duolingo had decided to use you* or some such character to represent you (plural) would have made life easier all around. I do notice that further on in the course they allow answers with just you for you plural, so you guys is just a learning tool to remind us if we are translating in to Chinese and talking/referring to a group we must ni men 你们 and to one person just ni 你。
你: "you (singular)"
[noun] + 们: (indicates there are multiple [noun])
你们: "you (plural)"
他/她/它: "he/she/it" (for more details, please check my post here: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/25690890?comment_id=37429005 )
No, 你们 can't mean "they."
That's actually a common misunderstanding. "None" is not a contraction (like "it's"), but a pronoun meaning "not any/not one". It is a plural pronoun when referring to a group and a single pronoun when referring to a single item. E.g. "none of this cake is for you" (singular), "none of the flowers are blooming" (plural).
Alex, I agree with you. But we are just studying Chinese and for "you all" we have the other expression 你们都. So we have to use different English words to separate you (singular), you (plural) and you all but just for the time while we are learning. Later in life when we become good interpreters from Chinese we translate 你们 without any "guys" or "chaps", "punks" etc ;)
"You guys" is used fairly often in parts of the United States. "You all" is used in the southern US while "you guys" tends to be used in the midatlantic, northeast, midwest and west. It is gender neutral and can be used to refer to all men, all women, or men and women together.
I've just found a good comment about "you guys" issue. MishaLavrov wrote: "The Chinese is not being idiomatic, the English is. I agree that it's not perfect, but it's more important to be able to indicate when "you" is supposed to be plural (otherwise we would never write 你们 when translating to Chinese). There's no good way to do that."
In which case "you are not all Chinese", although ambiguous, should be accepted, as it is really impossible to translate this into a form of English that would be accepted entirely by all English speakers. This translation does indicate you know that "you" is plural. Perhaps "You are all not Chinese" would be less ambiguous, but not a very natural way of speaking.
I have had some difficulties with writing into the right sequence. For example: in English language (and also in Dutch language) we write: "What is teacher Li's telephone number?" In Chinese language we must write: "Teacher LI's telephone number is what?" That is a little bit more complicated for me.
Translated it to: "Aren't you guys Chinese"? Because 们 is supposed to mean plural. I'm deeply confused rn, scrolled over 们 and it said that duolingo allows you to translate it as "you guys", so I don't know why this didn't work. Maybe this course should be put into a stage 1/3 incubator, where people can do it normally but contributors are allowed. This is the definition of insanity to me, especially if someone is about to get mastery on a skill and this question causes them to fail the mastery test.
Surely they should accept "you are not all Chinese" as an acknowledgement that I understood it was plural "you". There's no other way of clearly defining this in English, other than using "guys" etc that as mentioned in other discussion contributions, is informal or misleading. My other instinct was to put "You (plural).." which I'm sure wouldn't have been marked correct.
In English we use "Chinese" as an adjective, not a noun, eg...a Chinese person, a Chinese song etc. We never say a Chinese. We can use some nationality words as a noun, eg 'an Australian'. I can't think of any other examples. We often get round it by saying "Are you from Australia....China...Germany etc."
I'm a bit confused in this instance with the use of 你们 and 你. It's my understanding that ni is for a single person and ni men is for 2 people. The answer on this one is correct when saying either "You are not chinese" or "You are both not chinese"according to duolingo, but shouldn't "You are not chinese" read as 你不是中国人。Can someone please clarify. Thanks
English's "you" can be either singular or plural, so without the context, 你不是中国人。 and 你们不是中国人。 should both be accepted as the translation of "You are not Chinese."
Note that "you are both..." should translate into 你们都, where 都 means "both, all." Also note that 你们都不是 means "neither/none of you is" and 你们不都是 means at least one of "you" isn't...
"You guys" is a colloquial version of "You (plural)" and is typically more casual than it's formal. Given that we don't really have a casual version of 你们 in modern Chinese, "You" is more accurate than "You guys."
We do have phrases that are a little similar to "you guys" but are usually impolite: 你们这些人 (literally "you (plural) these people," meaning "you people") and 你们这些家伙 (literally "you (plural) these guys," meaning "you guys"). Note that unlike their English translations, these phrases are usually considered to be impolite, so unless you really want to criticize the people, it's better to avoid using them.
The real point here is that English is spoken in so many places with so many cultural differences that it's impossible to cover all bases. To me "Y'all" sounds weird - at the same time exotic. "You guys" sounds not quite so weird, but really informal. "You" seems to be a problem in many languages - tu/vous; ты/вы; du/Sie etc. In English we've got rid of the singular "thou", and left "you" stranded. Some here use the word youse which I believe may have come from an Irish background. "What are youse (yous) after standing there for?" Playwrights have used it (Sean O'Casey). Sounds great in an Irish accent, but is really making the plural even more plural, and is more weirdly informal than the above variations. "Youse guys" even worse. We'll never please everyone!
No because... you is second person, they is third person. English doesn't separate second person in singular from plural, in spanish singular is "tú" and plural is "ustedes" for example. And in chinese it is 你 (singular second person) and 你们 (plural second person). Different from 他们 (masculine plural third person) or 她们 (femenine plural third person)
English used to have "thou" and "ye". "Ye" turned into "you", and "thou" for some reason disappeared, leaving "you" to carry the burden of being both plural and singular. The second person has always presented a problem in a number of languages, as intimate and formal use has complicated the issue.