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  5. "她是我初中的同学。"


Translation:She was my classmate in middle school.

March 4, 2018



Just curious how they derived the past tense from this sentence (although it did accept the present tense answer)


I agree entirely, there is nothing that signifies past tense. Yet google translate comes up with the same answer if you cut and paste the answer (English to Chinese).

And this is what Wiki Chinese grammar says:

"While not strictly tied to any "tense," the 是⋯⋯的 construction is frequently used when asking or telling details about the past."



This phrase does not look like a 是...的 construction. We learned in a previous lesson that the 的 is always the last character (except for a question using 吗). The examples in your link show the same.


Well if you put the Chinese character sentence "她是我的初中同学" into Google translate, it comes up with:

"She is my junior high school classmate." (present tense)

But if I put in the English answer "She was my junior high school classmate," (past tense) it produces the same Chinese character answer: "她是我的初中同学"

So I just don' t know. I find it impossible to be certain of the past tense doulingo interpretation as well with this sentence.

Like you I am only trying to figure out what is going on here.


I have noticed the same thing as you. DuoLingo and Google will translate the same Chinese phrase as both past tense and present tense in English.

Chinese verbs will not change state, instead we add a time adverb or an aspect particle to the sentence to indicate past, present or future


You have to remember, unlike in English, we do not have past tense for verbs in Chinese grammar. Both "is" and "was" is written as "是" in Chinese.

"" in "她是好老师" could be "is" or "was". We really don't care which, because it is presumed readers can find out the sentence is in past or present tense by looking into the context.


The hard part about translating a single sentence on DL is that we have no context. If we heard a middle school student say this, we'd know it was present tense. If the person was an older teenager or adult, then we'd know it was past tense.


She is my classmate from middle school should also be accepted


She is my classmate from middle school should also be accepted


Was ... In is.... From


Should there not be "了"or some other temporal adverb in order to make it " she was"?


In this sentence how do you know is in the past? Anyone can tell me, please. thank you.


I most certainly think that the best translation of 初中 is junior high school


Again, when typing with keyboard I cannot tell whether it is 他 or 她 (listening). So both versions should be accepted. It is not possible to know the gender of the subject just by listening to the sound 'ta1'.


When translating into Chinese should: 她是我的初中的同学 not be correct too?


It's technically correct, but take note that the given answer flows better and is more colloquial; when this happens 的 becomes redundant so it is better left out.


I believe there is a difference similar to when you add 的 to 中国朋友, but I'm not sure if it can really be the same with 同学. 中国的朋友 means "a friend of China," so your version could be "a classmate of my middle school"?


She is our middle school classmate " what's wrong with that ???

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