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?

  • 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
    Commented Sep 11, 2012 at 12:22

5 Answers 5


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:



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.


“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.


I read a book while having dinner.

You can see 吃 as an adverbial clause of time.

  • So in this words, there is a verb and a adverbial clauses of time, not two verbs.
    – Chenhao
    Commented Sep 12, 2012 at 16:55

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."

  • you could maybe add the tonic accent to your pinyin. Something like wo3 chi1 fan4. Welcome to chinese stackexchange :-) Commented Mar 12, 2013 at 21:17

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