4

我一边吃饭,一边做作业

I do homework while eating

我一边在吃饭,一边在做作业

I'm doing homework while eating

Is the second sentence correct? Can I use 在 or does 一边...一边 already imply that the action I'm talking about is happening right now?

  • 1
    「一邊...一邊」並不一定指正在發生的事。例如:「我看到你今天早上邊走路邊吃東西。」這是過去式。如果要強調正在進行的事,可加「現在」。譬如:「他現在一邊聽著音樂,一邊在看雜誌。」 – user3a May 16 '18 at 19:52
  • The first one is preferable. The second one is a bit verbose, but sounds ok. – dan May 16 '18 at 22:22
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  • [一边 (verb A) 一边 (verb B)] indicates (verb A) and (verb B) are carried out concurrently. Please read Is the 边~边 the synonym for 一边~一边? for reference

  • [在 (verb A)] indicates (verb A) is in a progressive tense (in the middle of doing it / in a continuous state of doing it)

  • Neither structure indicate tense, because Chinese verbs do not inflect between present and past tense. Please read How do you specify past tense for 是? for reference

我一边在吃饭,一边在做作业

It is not technically wrong, but the more efficient structure to express the same meaning is "我在边吃饭,边做作业"

[边] 吃饭 [边] 做作业 indicates "eat dinner" (verb A) and "do homework" (verb B) are carried out concurrently

[在] [边吃饭,边做作业] indicates both actions are in a progressive tense (in the middle of doing it / in a continuous state of doing it)

  • Thanks a lot for your reply. Would like to ask, according to the other replies too, if these are all the same: 1) 我一边吃着饭,一边做着作业 2) 我在一边吃饭,一边做作业 3) 现在我一边吃饭,一边做作业 – Don't Care May 17 '18 at 17:28
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    @Don't Care they all mean the same, but #3 included a time reference, therefore we know it is happening in the present – Tang Ho May 17 '18 at 17:41
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You can think of "一边...一边" as a split screen. To me, it indicates the concurrence of two actions.

To your question specifically, it seems the second sentence is verbose and do not follow what colloquial description is from a native speaker point of view.

Alternatively, You can say something like,

我一边吃着饭,一边做着作业

to indicate the current continuous tense though.

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我一边在吃饭,一边在做作业。that's wrong, it should be

我在边吃饭,边做作业, that's right. 在 = doing something, stressed doing something (2 things at the same time).

and 我一边吃饭,一边做作业。 that's right. 一边...一边 = stressed at the same time, do 2 things

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