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A : Can I borrow your novel? (我可以借你的小说吗?) B : Sorry, I have already lent it to C. (对不起,我已经借给了C。) B : a) You can borrow the book once it's returned b) You can borrow the book once C returns it to me.

Would you please help me translate point a) and b)?

Also, which structure is used more frequently in China? The active or passive one? If both aren't used frequently, please tell me how Chinese people usually say it.

Thank you in advance

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Interestingly, Chinese language don't use passive voice as explicitly as in English. Translating passive sentences to native Chinese has always been challenging.
One solution is to restore the omitted object, which means:

I can lend the book to you once it is returned by C.
只要C把书还给我,我就能借给你。

However, if the subject cannot be deduced from the context (like, if B doesn't know who borrowed his book), some techniques should be used to make a "passive-less" clause:

(lit.) Once the book is returned, I can lend to you.
只要书还回来,我就能借你。

Such passive-less sentences are difficult to compare with English, but they are common in Chinese language:

砍了这棵树,路就能修成了。
(lit.) Cut down the tree, and the road can complete.
The road can be completed once the tree is cut down.

Note that "passive-less" means sentences without a passive "mark". In Modern Chinese, the passive mark is "被"(bei4).

P.S. I have found an article explaining the common form of translation from English to Chinese regarding passive sentences. Here are the synopsis:

Passive sentences in English have been widely used, far more than in Chinese. Therefore, their translations should vary depending on meanings:

  1. Translate into "judgement" sentences using "是":

手语是聋哑人使用的语言。
Sign languages are (the languages that are) used by the deaf and dumb people.

  1. Translate with active voice instead of passive voice. If subject is unable to identify, you may need to add some "logical" subjects like "有人"(lit. there are somebody) or "别人"(lit. others):

要站着,等有人请你坐下才能坐下。
(lit.)Need to stand, wait until someone invites you to sit can you sit down.
Stand until you're invited to sit.

  1. Translate into subject-less sentences, which are forbidden in English with a few exceptions, but quite common in Chinese:

发现了错误就一定要改正。
(lit.)(If)Discover errors, must correct (them).
Errors must be corrected once discovered.

  1. Translate into passive sentences, as what you're familiar with.
  • 谢谢你!🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏 – Agnes Aug 4 '18 at 0:24
  • Don't forget to accept my answer if you think it's useful. – Aurus Huang Aug 28 '18 at 9:04
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a) 你可以在它被归还的时候借。
b) 当C把书还给我时,你就可以借了。

We don't normally use passive in such case, if there is only one choice between a) and b), I would choose b). But I think you should actively lend it to B once the book is returned since B may not know when it will be returned to you. So I would say:

我可以在C把书还我之后就借给你。
I can lend the book to you once it returned by C.

  • Thank you. But I'm sorry because I'm going to have to ask you again. What's the use of 在 in that sentence of yours (我可以在C把书还我之后就借给你。)? – Agnes Jul 29 '18 at 12:18
  • 在 prep. 表示时间、处所、范围等, at; in. Here 在C把书还我之后 means at the time that after C return the book to me. – Bruce Huang Jul 29 '18 at 12:34
  • With pleasure :) – Bruce Huang Jul 29 '18 at 14:36

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