2

I want to say:

Shall we chat in Chinese for ten minutes twice a week?

Translator program gives the following output:

我们每周两次用中文聊十分钟好吗?

When I remove the duration from the sentence, the position of frequency measure word (两次) changes:

Shall we chat in Chinese twice a week?
Translation: 我们每周用中文聊天两次好吗?

Can someone please explain me why the position changes?

2 Answers 2

1

The difference is due to the change in "object" of the sentences.

Shall we chat in Chinese twice a week?

  • 我们每周用中文 聊 "两次" 好吗?- Here, the object "两次" quantifies the action "聊" in a clear manner.

Now, let's translate the sentence "Shall we chat in Chinese "for ten minutes" twice a week?" with the same grammar pattern as the above:

  • 我们每周用中文 聊 "两次十分钟" 好吗?- The object of this sentence is obviously unclear that renders the sentence unacceptable without modification.

One way to modify the sentence is:

  • 我们每周用中文 聊 "两次", 每次十分钟, 好吗?- Now the sentence is clear and acceptable, but the added word "每次(each time)" was not part of the original sentence.

The other feasible modification is:

  • 我们每周两次用中文 聊 "十分钟" 好吗?- Now the sentence is clear, acceptable, without alter the original words, and matches the reult from the translation program.
0

You could try:

我们可以每周用中文聊二次天,每次十分钟吗?

Think separation! You don't have to keep 聊天 together!

1
  • Use 两次 instead of 二次。
    – Mr. Míng
    Aug 25 at 17:02

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.