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This sentence is from the 3-rd grade 语文 book I'm studying (the exact pages are here):

一个星期天,宋耀如一家用过早餐,准备到一位朋友家去。

It says "One Sunday, [something], ready to go to a friends house."

Question: How do I parse 宋耀如一家用过早餐?

I think:

  • 宋耀 is a man's name,
  • 一家 go together to form "household",
  • I don't know what 如 is doing here (possible "like", as in "like a household"),
  • 用过 = used (past tense),
  • 早餐 = breakfast (but this seems mismatched with "used").

Or maybe 过早 = premature. I'm totally lost here.

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Sometimes, it helps to know the names and background of the people you're reading about. The appearance of the name 宋慶齡 in the text should instigate an immediate background check.

一個星期天,宋耀如一家用過早餐,準備到一位朋友家去。

One Sunday, the house (family) of 宋耀如 had breakfast and planned to go to a friend's house.

The friend should be primarily assumed to be that of 宋耀如, and by extension a family friend.


FYI: 用餐 is another way of saying 吃飯, if not a bit more old-fashioned.

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the problem you met is a common problem in Chinese, how to split a sentence into words(commonly known as tokenization in natural language processing). Actually, there are sometimes more than one way to split a sentence, such as 用过 and 过早 are both meaningful words, however, we would like to pick up the most probable way for splitting. In your case, 用过/早餐 is more often than 用/过早/餐. If you are not sure about your case, you may try some tools like https://www.toolnb.com/tools/fc.html.

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One sunday, 宋耀如's family is ready to go to a friend's house after finish their breakfast

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