I want to say:

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

Translator program gives the following output:


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


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.

You could try:


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

  • Use 两次 instead of 二次。
    – Míng
    Commented Aug 25, 2022 at 17:02

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