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I understand 当 serves as the start of "When xyz, then abc" or "當 。。。时,xyz" but what exactly is 在 doing in this sentence?

当我有错误【在】帮我纠正就行了。

Couldn't you just say:

当我有错误【时】帮我纠正行了。

3
  • Where did you see the sentence? It's wrong.
    – dan
    Oct 28 '20 at 0:54
  • Definitely somewhere informal lol maybe a YouTube comment or a possibly one of my friends tried to translate for me Oct 28 '20 at 1:14
  • Just so you know, 就 should be added in the sentence. E. g. 当我有错误再帮我纠正就行了. Without 就,the sentence doesn't sound right. And 在 should be 再. LiBook's answer is spot on.
    – dan
    Oct 28 '20 at 12:14
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It may be a mistake. It should be 当我有错误再帮我纠正就行了 or the complete version 当我有错误的时候再帮我纠正就行了 .

There is no relationship between 再 and 时 . There will always be a 时 in the meaning of this sentence even though you can omit it.

Because of 就行了 ; there will always be a 再 in the meaning of this sentence. After you remove 就行了. 再 makes this sentence sounds like "not now; correct me untill I made a mistake". If you remove 再, this sentence will become a imperative sentence like an order.

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  • 「当我有错误的时候」,「再帮我纠正就行了」Can this sentence be divided into these two clauses? Oct 28 '20 at 3:18
  • 1
    @MuchAppreciated25 Each part of them is not a complete sentences. You can divide them with commas, in one sentence.
    – LiBook
    Oct 28 '20 at 5:01
  • 1
    @MuchAppreciated25 If you want to split up the sentence into its constituent clauses, you’d have to go a bit further: 「当我有错误(的时候)」,「再帮我纠正」,「(就)行了」. You could also argue for further dividing the second into 「再帮我」 and 「纠正」, but that’s not really necessary for most purposes. Oct 28 '20 at 9:04
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I think you should use "再" instead of "在".

They have the same meaning. "【当】我有错误【时】【再】帮我纠正【行了】“, actually you can ignore both "当" and “再”, sometime you can also ignore "时", like "当我有错误帮我纠正". Just different compositions. "当",“时”,“再” are some words equivalent to "when" or "if".

In Chinese or other languages, I guess there are always some redundant parts, to ensure the correct meaning is transferred to the destination.

so, if you really want simplicity. "当我错了,纠正我".

if you want to be complex. "当我错了时再纠正我行了“

They have the same meaning but be careful, the feeling is different. A long sentence might mean you are a little bit impatient, especially the "行了" at the end while a short sentence implies order and power.

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Presume there's no typo, the only way to interpret this sentence logically is as following.

  • 当我 - pretend I / treat it as I

  • 有错误 - made a mistake

  • (你)在帮我纠正 - (you) are helping me to correct it

  • 行了 - would be fine

In this case, the function of '在' is as a particle that indicates the verb '帮' is in a continuous state

[当我] [有错误] [(你)在帮我纠正] [(就)行了]。

It would be fine if you just pretend 'I had made a mistake' and you are helping me to correct it.

A: 能替我校对这篇文章吗? - Can you proofread this article for me?

B: 这是你的工作呀! 主编看见了怎辨? - But this is your job! What if the editor in chief saw it?

A: 当我有错误(你)在帮我纠正(就)行了 - It would be fine if you just pretend 'I had made a mistake' and you are helping me to correct it.

Another way to interpret this sentence is to presume 在 is a typo of 再( like LiBook suggested)

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  • Another way to interpret this sentence is to presume 在 is a typo of 再( like LiBook suggested)
    – Tang Ho
    Oct 28 '20 at 3:23
  • 再帮 would imply "help again", whereas 在帮 have no such contextual implication. And since the sentence starts with 当我有错误, (when I make a mistake), there is no added implication of "当我再次错误时", (when I make a mistake again), which would require "help again", (再帮), then I would say there is no typo. 在帮, (just help / helping), would fit in well with the general context of the sentence. Oct 28 '20 at 8:23
  • @Wayne Cheah 再 can mean 'then '--> "XX 再 YY" = "XX then YY" --> 吃过晚饭再出去 ('先吃过晚饭' or '等吃过晚饭 is implied)
    – Tang Ho
    Oct 28 '20 at 8:34
  • In my interpretation, 当 doesn't mean 'when', it means 'treat as' as in 当是; 当作
    – Tang Ho
    Oct 28 '20 at 8:38
  • This interpretation doesn't make any sense.
    – dan
    Oct 28 '20 at 9:08

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