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  5. "这个意外是在什么时候发生的?"


Translation:When did this accident happen?

April 6, 2018



It appears that this is a "是……的" sentence, but it's not clear to me why "在“ is being used in conjunction with "什麽時候".


What is a ""是……的" sentence"?


From my understanding, the structure "是 (x) (y) 的 " basically translates to "It was (x) that (y)". In this sentence, the "是 (x) (y) 的" structure is "是 (在什么时候) (发生) 的". This translates to "It was (at when) that (happen)". Literally, the full sentence would be "This accident it was at when that happen?". Hopefully that explanation is helpful (and please anyone correct me if my understanding is wrong!)


Pleco says 在 can be used for "at, in, or on (a place or time)"


So effectively "at what time did this happen"


I don't think so. 什么时候 already means "at what time" by itself, so no need to add 在 before.

I am not sure why 在 is there, but i assume it is used here to show that the action was in progress (same meaning as 正在). So a more literal translation of this sentence would be: "At what time was this accident happening?". But again, this is just a hypothesis. I hope someone will give us the answer.


Just asked a Chinese friend, she said with or without 在 the meaning and connotation is exactly the same. So I guess it's just optional


But what is the grammar behind it? And why is can 在 be used here. Usually it is used to show a location.


在 is used before time words in other lessons to mean things like "on the weekend" (在周末) and on Fridays (在星期五). I still don't know why is is used here, but it seems to be entirely optional. Duolingo now excepts the answer without 在.

For 在 to show that an action is in progress, it needs to come right before the action verb.


Would it still be correct to say "这个意外在什么时候发生"?


Either that or "这个意外在什么时候发生了"


What time did this accident happen should be allowed


"What time" has a narrower meaning than 什么时候. The answer to "what time?" is a clock time, such as "10:30" or "noon." You would only ask "what time?" if you already know the day, or if the day does not matter. The answer to 什么时候 might be a clock time, but it might be something else, such as "yesterday" or "a week ago." This is why "when" is a better translation for 什么时候.


I think 'occur' is better.


If you consider me as a learner please speak slower.


I wrote 这个意外什么时候发生的 and it was accepted.

Go figure


My answer:"When this accident happened" was rejected why?


When happened this accident. 不行吗,为啥呢?


That is not correct English, although it is understandable. "When did this accident happen?" or "When was it that this accident happened?" would be correct.

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