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The sentence 我吃饭的时候看了一本书。 apparently has two verbs (吃 and 看), but I can’t see how the two actions are correlated. Could anyone explain that?

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我一边吃饭一边看书。“我吃饭的时候(我)看了一本书” 感觉怪怪的,好像病句一样 –  user1047 Sep 11 '12 at 12:22
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5 Answers 5

up vote 8 down vote accepted

I'm not sure if you are familiar with 的时候 but this translates approximately to 'while'.

So the sentence reads:

While I was eating I read a book.

You can see the English use "I" twice, so it may make more sense to you if you read it like this:

我吃饭的时候(我)看了一本书

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A verb works with an object. In this sentence, the first verb 吃 (have or eat) works with 饭 (meal), and the second, 看 (read) works with 书 (book), and "...的时候..." (while) links two phrases together.

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“我吃饭的时候”是个状语从句,不知道你们能不能看懂,"when 我吃的的时候,我看了一本书"

“我吃饭的时候” has an adverbial clause (I'm not sure if you can understand that). When 我吃的的时候,我看了一本书.

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I read a book while having dinner.

You can see 吃 as an adverbial clause of time.

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We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.

    
So in this words, there is a verb and a adverbial clauses of time, not two verbs. –  Chenhao Sep 12 '12 at 16:55
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Can't type in Chinese so I'll use pinyin.

Literally, it goes: wo3 chi1 fan4 ("I eat/ am eating/ ate/ was eating etc.), de5 shi2 hou5 (POS "time"), kan4 le5 yi1 ben3 shu1 ("saw/ had seen/ read/ had read one book").

Therefore, it roughly translates to "At the time when I was eating, I read a book."

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you could maybe add the tonic accent to your pinyin. Something like wo3 chi1 fan4. Welcome to chinese stackexchange :-) –  Stephane Rolland Mar 12 '13 at 21:17
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