I wrote this sentence:

Wǒ de tóngwū shuìjiào shíhòu xiǎng kāi wūmén yīdiǎndiǎn.

It was meant to mean "when my roommate sleeps, they like to open the door a little". Our teacher 张老师 made these corrections:


So she corrected it to:

Wǒ de tóngwū shuì jué de shíhòu xiǎng kāi yīdiǎndiǎn wūmén.

I'm not clear as to why. Judging from Baidu searches for related grammar constructs (睡觉时候 and 说汉语一点), what I wrote is plain wrong, but I don't understand why. It looks important, so...

Question: What is wrong with my sentence?

  • You can also say我的同屋睡觉时想开一点点屋门。See, Chinese could be very tricky. If u are using 时候,you need to add 的 at front, if you get rid of 候, then 的 shall disappear too. I’m not an expert, so good luck.
    – Hunter
    Commented Nov 16, 2017 at 16:16
  • 睡觉的时候 or 睡觉时 are right, but 睡觉时候 is irregular. You may speak 同屋的人 but not 同屋, it is not an adjective. 同事, 同学 vs 朋友, 校友, 舍友.
    – xenophōn
    Commented Nov 17, 2017 at 4:51
  • 1
    That was 2 years 7 months ago. Now, 5 answers later, would you say 我想吃白饭一点点, (I want to eat rice a little bit), or 我想吃一点点白饭? (I want to eat a little bit of rice) ? :) Commented Jul 6, 2020 at 7:48

5 Answers 5


Since 睡觉 (to sleep) is a verb that doesn't take object,

时候 (time) as a noun cannot follow 睡觉 directly. To resolve the conflict, we have to add 的 after 睡觉 to make it an adjectival phrase '睡觉的' as in "睡觉的时候" (sleeping time) -- That would then be grammatically correct

In English, the object is usually placed before the adverbial phrase -- as in "open the door a little bit"

But in Chinese, the object is usually placed after the adverbial phrase -- as in "开一点点屋门" ( the object '屋门' follows the adverbial phrase '一点点' )


Well, that is still not Chinese i have to say. Here is somthime interesting.

开 is the verb. 屋门 is the object (noun). So a genuine Chinese is: 我的同屋睡觉的时候,想把屋门开一点点。 Here 把 similiars to ‘to’ in English.

开屋门 together is an imperative or a command


Your issue is 一点 here modifies the verb 开, not 开门. So, you have to pull it closer to 开. It's not an big issue with that additional 的 before 时候.

Roommate can be interpreted as 室友,which is more common than 同屋.

a little can be translated to 一点 or 一点点. 一点点 sounds a bit cutie sometimes.

So, the whole sentence can be translated to: 我(的)室友睡觉(的)时候,喜欢开一点(屋)门.


Replace "同屋" with "室友" roommate Replace "想开屋门一点点" with "想让屋门开着一点点", want to leave the door open a bit


同居 is not an ideal way to express roommates. 室友 should be a better word.
想把屋门打开一点点 makes sense to me.
‘我的室友睡觉的时候会把屋门打开一点点‘ would be the way I say it.
'My roommate will leave the door open a little when he/she goes to the bed.'

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