2

您的外卖可能会晚到一会。

In the sentence above i think 可能 and 会 could be translated as "probable/possibly be", 可能 being an adverb and 会 used as an auxiliary verb to indicate future tense, but then what is the meaning of 到?Is it used as the verb "to arrive" given the context or has it another usage?

2
  • 2
    It means "arrive" in this context. 晚到一会 = 晚一会到
    – dan
    Feb 2 at 5:25
  • This has got to be a dupe of another question on the site.
    – Mou某
    Feb 2 at 10:49

2 Answers 2

3

@Eduardo S wrote:
In the sentence "您的外卖可能会晚到一会" what is the function of 到?

In this sentence, 到 is the main verb. As you correctly said, it is used with the meaning of "to arrive".

You are also correct when you say that 可能 is an adverb and 会 an auxiliary verb.

About 会 in "可能会"

It's easy for us English/Italian/Spanish/... speakers to see 会 as a verb used "to indicate future tense", as you said. But it would be a mistake. In this sentence, it means "to be possible, probable, likely, sure". The degree of the possibility is indicated by adverbs like 可能, 一定, etc.:

可能
一定

While it's true that it is often used to indicate a future possibility, it can also indicate a possibility in the past or at the present. Definitely, it is not a verb used "to indicate future tense".

From the book 《现代汉语八百词》: enter image description here enter image description here

4
  • One might want to add that there's both 一定要, indicating confidence, and 一定會 which is more like "there's certainly the possibility that". 可能會 is like "very possibly might", so must be understood pragmatically, i.e. the speaker is expressing concern and commiseration towards the waiting customer. Secondly, observe that while 可能會 and 一會 share the same character 會, it really writes another word in the latter instance, "yìhuǐr", also written 一會兒/一会儿. Feb 2 at 9:34
  • 会 has the meaning of "be able to" and "be possible", both are pointing to the future from the time it is said.
    – r13
    Feb 11 at 22:09
  • @r13 Yes, this is often the case, but it can also refer to the past or the present, as shown in the examples. Feb 12 at 6:24
  • I think the examples are the English equivalent of "future-in-the-past, also known as "prediction in the past", grammar form, which is the use of "would or was/were going to" to refer to the future from the perspective of some point in the past. thoughtco.com/future-in-the-past-grammar-1690811
    – r13
    Feb 13 at 1:56
1

到:从别处来

您的外卖可能会晚到一会。
your order possible can late to a bit
Your order may be a bit late.

Your order: 您的外卖
possible: 可能
will: 会
late: 晚
to: 到
a bit (of time): 一会儿

A subjunctive sentence, indicated by 可能.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.