"她几乎迟到了!"

Translation:She was almost late!

August 7, 2018

19 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/mjhillman06

In this sentence, how do I differentiate 了 meaning past tense ("was late") versus emphasis ("is late!!!")?

August 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/King184867

Chinese verbs has no tense. Therefore, when we read this Chinese sentence, we have no concept on whether it happened before or now.

But when this sentence is translated to English, you need to consider it's present or past. So, it depends on the context.

August 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/mjhillman06

Thanks for the explanation. This particular sentence has no context, so both interpretations should be correct, right?

August 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/King184867

Yes, it should be at this situation.

August 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JiunnChyi

What do you mean by no context and so both interpretations should be correct?

November 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/mjhillman06

When we read the sentence by itself in Chinese (i.e. no context), we don't know whether it is part of a conversation about the present or the past. Therefore, because 了 can indicate either 1) a past action, or 2) an intensification of a present action, we can't say one translation is right and the other is wrong.

November 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/KX3.

Yes, that sounds right to me.

November 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/KX3.

I'm sorry, but I can't think of any situation in which this would be happening now. If she is almost late, as opposed to having been almost late, but arrived in the nick of time, then it'd be more of 她快要迟到了.

October 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/mjhillman06

Imagine three people are supposed to greet a VIP at the company headquarters when she arrives at 11 in the morning. It is one minute to 11, and two of the three are there. One says to the other, "Oh no, Jane is almost late! I hope she gets here in the next few seconds!"

November 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/KX3.

Yes, that is something like what I had in mind as well. In that situation it might be better to use the example I mentioned above.

November 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/uncannyrain

Please allow both 他 and 她 for the people not using word bank.

August 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/minookamuse

Should also accept "She almost was late."

October 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/KX3.

That is not proper English.

October 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/PoppyDGrate

In what way is it not proper English?

November 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/KX3.

Well, perhaps you could explain how is it proper English.

November 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/PoppyDGrate

You made the claim that it is not, so it is up to you to substantiate your claim.

November 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/KX3.

It is not because it isn't grammatical to put almost before was and hence it isn't proper however it may be acceptable in the sense that it is colloquial to a certain group of speakers. I asked you to refute it because explaining using terms (even simple ones like verbs and adverbs and nouns) isn't my forte at all.

November 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/PoppyDGrate

For some reason, Duo would not let me reply to your explanation, so I'll reply here. When "almost" is used as an adverb, it can be placed before the verb. https://www.englishgrammar.org/using-almost

November 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/KX3.

It seems we've reached the limit. I agree with what you sent in the link, and the usage of almost comes after "was", which is a verb form of the "be", hence it comes before the adverb "almost", which here is also used to modify the adjective "late". Therefore the given translation "She was almost late" is the best one, and seeing as it says nothing about switching the positions of "almost" and "was" perhaps we can just put this down as acceptable due to colloquial usage, although I don't know where it would be colloquial.

November 20, 2018
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