"What time is it now?"


June 4, 2018

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To save a search: 钟 is apparently pronounced as "zhōng" and means "bell."


It also means o'clock which is the meaning here.


thank gosh that Chinese consistently matches certain symbols with certain speech patterns. probably a good idea to trust everything with 中 in it as "zhong" at the very base

just curious, japanese learners: is it the same for kanji?


Yes, there are often sound elements as Kanji are adapted Chinese characters. Interestingly, in other Chinese languages than Mandarin and in completely unrelated languages as Vietnamese and Zhuang very often whole characters are used only by their pronunciation, completely unrelated to their original meaning.


In mandarin also but it's a mix, like some words are made of already existing characters that match the sound wanted and some words carry the meaning of the characters they are made of.


No, but it has rivers of kanjis and oceans of pronunciations and meanings to them.


○点鐘 is within Japanese vocaburary as a sign of hour but it's not daily used. In Japanese it is a historic word for an naval hour unit, which was notified on ringing(点) a bell (鐘) per half an hour[1]. Today ringing a bell is mostly celemonial.[2]

Cf. [1] https://www.meiwakaiun.com/meiwaplus/tips/tips-vol91/ [2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ty9iXz3iE_c


From my (limited) experience with Japanese Kanji the stroke similarity between characters is somewhat helpful for meaning correlation and very deceiving for pronunciation. If you don't know the word then it's likely not pronounced as you would expect. But if you're really expecting the pronunciation not to match the character then it will, just for the sake of it :)


@abcdefghdumbo It doesn't work even in Chinese: even if they were common at first, their sounds and tones could have been altered since its creation (thousands years ago). But good for general principle.


I looked them up in a dictionary and it says that 几 is "how many" and 点钟 is "o'clock". Is it still ok to say it as "现在几点了?" ?


了 is used to show past tense but in this sentence you put 现在 and 了 together which is inappropriate because it's not clear if it's in past or present so don't use 了. You can say “现在几点?”。We can't write 吗 in the end as 几 is already here as the question particle. Hope it helped.


This isn't quite correct; "现在几点了?" is fine. There's no contradiction between 现在 and 了 because 了 does not correspond to the English past tense. 了 can be used to indicate a lot of things, for example see here: https://resources.allsetlearning.com/chinese/grammar/Uses_of_%22le%22. One of the things it can indicate is the completion of an action, and often when we have a sentence in the past tense in English, it represents a completed action, so 了 is used. In this sense, 了 is often associated with the past tense in English, but it's not the same thing, and it has a lot of other functions too.

In "现在几点了?", 了 is being used with a different function. In this case, 了 is used to indicate or emphasize a change of state. Including 了 can also serve to soften the question slightly, making it less blunt. In spoken English, a common way to achieve the distinction between "现在几点?" and "现在几点了?" is through changing the word order and/or stress. "现在几点?" corresponds to "What time is it?" or "What time is it now?" with "now" unstressed, while "现在几点了?" corresponds to "Now what time is it?" or "What time is it now?", with "now" stressed.

As an example scenario, imagine that you and a friend are rushing to catch a train departing at 2:00. You arrive at the train station, and you don't know what time it is. You ask him "现在几点?", simply asking what the current time is ("What time is it?"). It's 1:55 and you wait for a while, for what feels like much longer than 5 minutes. You then ask him "现在几点了?", since the time has changed from a previous reference state ("Now what time is it?").


Sort of "what time has it become"..which makes sense if you think of le as a perfect aspect marker, rather than a past tense marker




请问; What is the meaning of 钟 ?


By itself, it means "clock".

点钟 can mean "o'clock", for example 四点钟 is 4 o'clock. 几点钟 means "what time". In both these cases, you can usually drop 钟 and the meaning is still the same. So 现在几点钟 and 现在几点 both mean "What time is it now". The latter is just a little bit less formal.


Then what does dian mean?


This is so helpful. Thank you.


very strange to introduce a character like this


I see it accepts "现在几点钟" but in another example, it doesn't let us remove the "钟" What is the difference, if any?


They're generally interchangeable, with 几点 being maybe just slightly less formal than 几点钟. Other than that, the only context that comes to my mind where "几点钟" might be preferred over "几点" is an extremely contrived one, where "点" may also be used as a classifier for ideas and it's ambiguous whether "几点" means "what time" or "how many ideas".


Thank you so much. I didn't know that.


“种” is used here but has not been introduced anywhere. It's also superfluous, I believe.


introduced in lesson Time 3, should not have been used in lesson time 1


Duo also accepts just 现在几点 without 钟 if you type using pinyin keyboard (xian zai ji dian)


Is it normal to use ”shi” in addition to ”zai” in front of times?


在 in this sentence is part of the word 现在, which means "now". Outside of such cases, you won't have 在 and 是 together like this.


Thank you very much. In some sentences, I seen "xian zai shi" and in most others I see just "xian zai". I assume the latter is more common in speech. Is the former more formally correct?


Yes, you're correct, assuming 现在(是) is followed by a time. If it's followed by an adjective, 是 is not used. For example, 现在很冷 is correct, but 现在是很冷 is wrong.


Thank you, this has been very helpful. Congratulations on your long streak and your interest in learning so many languages!


Thank you. This is very helpful


Wow. Excellent explanation sir. That was confusing me. I thought zai was only used in "where" sentences. Thank you


How is the last part written in pinyin


钟 = zhōng


it never taught me what 钟 meant and im on the test...


Why does it not accept "现在几点钟吗"? I thought "吗" is simply used to implicate that something is a question. In my understanding it does not change the meaning of the question. So I am just wondering why it does not accept that version.


You never add the question particle 吗 at the end if there are other question words in the phrase, such as who 谁,what 什么,why 为什么,which 哪,where 哪儿, how much 多少,how many 几 etc


吗 forms yes-or-no questions out of statements.


吗 signifies a yes or no question


In my chinese class, we used 几点了。What's the difference with 几点钟?


No difference in meaning - 几点 and 几点钟 are generally interchangeable, with the latter being maybe slightly more formal.


Thanks duolingo you help me a lot


Many choices in the Chinese lessons have no sound. The first question almost never has sound.


Chinese audio was from the previius question


Is 几点钟 like 'what o'clock?'


If you're considering the literal meaning of the components of 几点钟, yes. 几 can mean "what" in the sense of "what number" or "how many/much", and 点钟 means "o'clock".


Can't just put 几点?


Pero esto no se vio antes en la práctica.


Idk if the lessons will do this in the future, but I feel like they should try to teach that generally anytime you ask for the time, you add 现在 and that the English translation doesn't need "now"

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