"她几乎迟到了!"

Translation:She was almost late!

August 7, 2018

19 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mjhillman06

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mjhillman06

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/King184867

Yes, it should be at this situation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JiunnChyi

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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.


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

Yes, that sounds right to me.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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!"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hsn626796

Excellent question


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wbeeman

"She almost was late" is correct, but not accepted. Please fix.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/uncannyrain

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/minookamuse

Should also accept "She almost was late."


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

That is not proper English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dr_Jerry

In what way is it not proper English?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EmreErboke

how would you say "she is almost late" as in if you are waiting for someone, lets say for a movie that starts at 9:00 and its 8:50 you would say to your friend "look at the time 10 minutes left for the movie to start she is almost late" or does this not make sense in English either


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mjhillman06

That makes sense in English, and we do say it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MMAMD

他几乎迟到了=他是不迟到,但是他慢一点的话 是真迟到了。没有时间轻松。 She(I wrote as 'he' character) was almost late = She is not late, but if she was slow a bit, she was really late. she doesn't have time to relax(to start something like work or class)

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