I'm self translating common phrases in English, and I tried to translate "Excuse me, do you have the time?" And I came up with:


Is this a natural sounding sentence and is it correct?

  • 1
    for possible translation see iciba: 2. Do you have the time, please?请问现在几点钟了?来自互联网3. Excuse me, do you have the time? 打扰一下, 请问您的表几点了?(Such a word-for-word translation does not even work for any number of Western languages,why should it work for Chinese. 这样与原文逐字对应的方式甚至翻译成若干种西方语言行不通,为什么为中文可能会有道理呢?)
    – user6065
    Commented Oct 23, 2015 at 16:39
  • 1
    @FanZheng 请问您有时间吗?is "do you have time?", not "do you have the time?"
    – monalisa
    Commented Oct 24, 2015 at 4:15
  • 3
    That is not how languages work...
    – vermillon
    Commented Oct 24, 2015 at 5:05
  • 1
    "請問" is used well.
    – Henry HO
    Commented Oct 24, 2015 at 10:35
  • 1
    Just want to point out "劳驾" is only appropriate when you're asking someone to make way for you or to do you a favour."不好意思", "打扰您一下", or even "您好" is better.
    – Einheri
    Commented Oct 24, 2015 at 18:49

5 Answers 5


Unfortunately it's not correct. You could say:



  • Thanks. May you explain to me why it is not correct? Commented Oct 23, 2015 at 15:27
  • @viktorahlström Do you indicates this is a question here, you shouldn't translate it as 做你 literally. And have the time should be regarded as a common idiom, and translated as 知道现在几点. Anyway, you need to understand the whole meaning of the sentence, and try to express them in Chinese sentence structure/style, not just translate them word by word literally.
    – user4072
    Commented Oct 23, 2015 at 15:37
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    @viktorahlström It doesn't make sense to translate do you literally because the use of the word do as a dummy auxiliary verb is something that applies only in English grammar (see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Do-support). Most other languages do not introduce this verb when forming questions; rather the syntax changes occur with the original verb. In the case of Chinese, it can be via the addition of a sentence final or the use of the <verb>不<verb> construction.
    – Claw
    Commented Oct 23, 2015 at 18:55
  • 1
    @viktorahlström My comment was addressing your previous question regarding do you rather than your new question (which should really be posed as a new question rather than a comment here). Regarding your new question, no, it is still not correct. Again, don't try to literally translate word-for-word, because grammatical structures in Chinese and English can be quite different. For one, Chinese does not exhibit wh-movement, so 多少 should not be moved to the front of the question. Also, because it is not a yes/no question, 吗 should not be used.
    – Claw
    Commented Oct 23, 2015 at 19:36
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    @小奥利奥 Yes, 请问 sounds more natrual; it just doesn't match excuse me much. Using 对不起 is fine, you can also use 不好意思, which is used more (IMO), e.g. 不好意思,请问现在几点了?
    – user4072
    Commented Nov 17, 2019 at 4:12

"做你有那个时" sounds very strange to me and honestly I wouldn't have known what you meant had I not read the English version

"劳驾" isn't really appropriate in this type of sentence either

something like

“不好意思,请问现在几点” is more natural sounding



This appears to be an almost word-for-word direct translation of:

Excuse me, do you have the time?

But this expression is idiomatic in English, so it's not going to translate well. I don't think it would be understandable.

What's wrong with it?

  • 劳驾 = excuse me; I believe this is correct and polite (maybe a bit rare). I'd probably say 麻烦你了 ("trouble you" = "excuse me") followed by 请问 ("may I ask") so whoever I'm speaking to can notice I'm speaking Chinese before I start asking a question.
  • 、 is the wrong comma; it's used for lists, like A、B和C. See: Commas, which one is proper?
  • = to do; this is not equivalent to "do" in the English sentence above, and is incorrect. E.g. 做作业 = "to do homework".
  • = you; this is correct.
  • = to have; this matches the English sentence, but the English is idiomatic so it's not appropriate to translate this. (We don't actually "possess" time.)
  • 那个 = that; this is incorrect. Chinese doesn't have a simple notion of "the". See: How to express "the" in Chinese
  • = time; but it does not match "time" in the English sentence. 那个时 doesn't work; the closest is 那个时间 = "that time" (using 时间 = time).

Ordinary Chinese

Probably the most natural option is:

May I ask, what's the time now?
Qǐngwèn, xiànzài jǐ diǎnle?

Although 请问 could be replaced by many other alternatives.


You could say something like


  • 麻烦下现在的时间 is weird...
    – user4072
    Commented Oct 27, 2015 at 4:37
  • Word-for-word translation from one language to another seldom work well, and usually ends up hilariously, like translating this simple Chinese sentence, 你吓我一跳, as "You scared me one jump" Commented Jan 6, 2020 at 11:31

打扰一下=(bother for a while) 对不起=(sorry) but the meaning still can be use for the sentences and the 你知道现在几点吗 meaning is (do you know what time now?)

I'm Chinese so I know it, more accurately Excuse me=(不好意思)

for the whole translation is like this: 不好意思,你知道现在几点吗?(do you have the time)

  • I think you might be a bit confused with "do you have the time" vs. "do you have time". The former means "do you know what time it is" and the latter "are you free". So "请问你有空吗?" is not an accurate translation of "Do you have the time?"
    – monalisa
    Commented Oct 23, 2015 at 20:41
  • you mean do you have the time meaning is same with ask people what time it's?
    – Le Parkour
    Commented Oct 26, 2015 at 2:45
  • Yes, "do you have the time?" = "do you know what time it is?"
    – monalisa
    Commented Oct 26, 2015 at 5:30

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