1

In the following conversation:

I: 你住在首尔吗?

X: 来玩的

I: 那你到几天在这边吗?

X: 对啊

I tried to ask "Then until when (which day) do you stay here?", but the opponent seems to take it differently, possibly she thought I asked "Then do you stay here for several days?".

I thought 到 means "until", so it is correct grammar-wise. But it seems to not make sense, given the reaction of the opponent.

So what is the correct way to ask "Until when do you stay here?" in Chinese? And why does my sentence not make sense?

3

Better ideas of what you want to convey include:

  • 待到什么时候 - when will (you) stay till

  • 待几天 - stay for how long

  • 待多少天 - stay for how long

A couple of notes:

  • 几 - is only a number 0-9, not above ten.

  • 几天 - is then thusly less than ten days, technically. Also, this doesn't work like 几号? if you want to ask which or what day it would be 哪一天?.

Only use this if you know that you've got your numbers right.

  • 多少 - on the other hand contains most all numbers, it's a safer bet.

Your sentence (那你到几天在这边吗?) is missing a verb, specifically 待 -or- 呆 - the "stay" you wanted to translate from your English sentence. 待到 would be better - here 到 indicates completion of 待.

  • places usually come near the beginning of sentences - 在这边 should come after 你.

Also another more direct way to ask:

  • 什么时候走?
1

The best way to say it in Chinese is 什么时候走 (When do you leave).

“直到”, though literally means until, is a rarely used word in Chinese, and is usually considered the last choice to use when translating English. In many cases where you use until in English, you have to use other phrases in Chinese.

  • This did not happen until 1998. → 1998 年以前没有发生过。(until here means before, so translation of before is used instead)
  • Wait until two o'clock. → 等到两点再说。(until here means that you will do something else after two o'clock, so doing something else is used instead)
  • Don't come in until I tell you to. → 我叫你进来别进来。(until here means that the former part (come in) will never happen if the condition in the latter part (I tell you to) is not met, so if-not-then is used instead)

And, for your case, the best translation is

  • Until when do you stay here? → 什么时候走?

which is totally different than its English counterpart.

Therefore, my opinion is, whenever you want to translate something with until from English to Chinese, always try to use some other expressions without until.

UPDATE 1

You can also say 你在这儿待到哪天 or 你在这儿待到什么时候, which are closer to your original sentence. They are totally fine, but might take the listener a bit longer to respond.

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