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19 votes

Why is 刻 used to mean ''a quarter of an hour''?

刻 means ''to carve'' but my dictionary also says it means ''to set a time limit''. well, you need a better dictionary 😼 in 國語辭典, the first explanation of the entry “刻”, as noun is: 古代計時的名稱,...
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12 votes

I am confused by how time is discussed in Chinese,

下一次/下次 (next time) Imagine the present time is the beginning of a list. When you go further down the list, the further into the future you will be at. 上一次/上次 (last time) Imagine you are ...
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12 votes
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Is 下个星期三 (xiàge xÄ«ngqÄ«sān) = "next Wednesday" ambiguous like in English?

下个星期三 would only refer to Wednesday, next week. There is no way you would use 下个星期三 to refer to Wednesday this week, like the one that is coming two days from now, that would just be 星期三. There's a ...
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10 votes
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Does 兩點九 mean 2:09 or 2:45?

Does 兩點九 have two different meanings? Or does it always mean 2:45? It does not have two different meanings. It means 2:45. We can also say 兩點四十五分。 In fact, it's more direct to say 兩點四十五分, if we're ...
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8 votes

Is 下个星期三 (xiàge xÄ«ngqÄ«sān) = "next Wednesday" ambiguous like in English?

The ambiguity come from "next" has the meaning of "up coming" The Seinfeld joke applied the "up coming" meaning of "next" to create confusion, but in practice, people always refer "next Wednesday" to ...
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  • 69.8k
8 votes

Why is 刻 used to mean ''a quarter of an hour''?

Water clocks. 「刻」 originally referred to the carved markings which recorded water levels throughout the day, as a substitute for time, on the cylinders of elaborate systems of water flow like the ...
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8 votes
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What does 9月26日电9月26日 ("26 September electricity 26 September") mean?

The bolded text is the organization and time indicator and the second line, which is not bolded, is the real start of the main body. They are not connected. 9月26日电 means the message is sent on Sept ...
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  • 2,606
6 votes

How exactly do time and "tense" work in Mandarin REALLY?

If the form 我看了一本书 is correct then what role is 了 playing here and why does it sound to me like past tense with a not-a-tense-marker indicating tense? '了' in "我看了一本书" is a [aspect marker] ...
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  • 69.8k
6 votes

What's the amount of time in 足足有一刻钟,简默的脸上现出了惊喜和迷惑?

足足有一刻钟 here means "a full quarter of an hour". 足足 means fully. The word is usually emotional, implying that that amount is a big deal. E.g. 我在这里足足等了你两个小时. (implying: two hours is really long time. ...
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5 votes

Is 下个星期三 (xiàge xÄ«ngqÄ«sān) = "next Wednesday" ambiguous like in English?

「下个星期三」是「下个星期」的「星期三」,简称「下周三」。 如果是「这个星期」的「星期三」,不管今天是这个星期的星期几,都会说「这个星期的星期三」,或简称「这周三」。 也就是说,先用「星期/周」确定是「哪一个星期」,然后确定是「哪一天」。
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  • 51
4 votes

Which word to use for "day" when talking about lengths of time?

Basic difference: 天 (n) sky; day 日 (n) sun ; day; date When stating number of days, you can use either 日 or 天 Example: 三個月另八日 /三個月另八天 ( three months and eight days) 十六日 / 十六天 ( 16 days) ...
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4 votes

Which word to use for "day" when talking about lengths of time?

Both of the "天" and "日" as the "量词" are correct. In the modern standard Chinese, people will say "我觉得我会待两三天" in their daily life, and will say "我预计我将停留两三日" in the formal situation such as ...
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  • 41
4 votes

How can I negate time and when to place 在 before time?

I am a bit confused by the 在 in your example sentence, since you don't need it there, 我不在8点起床,我(在?)9点起床。 Frankly, I wouldn't know what this sentence was supposed to mean, if you hadn't provided a ...
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  • 7,118
4 votes
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What are the rules surrounding word order when talking about time (e.g. are 八点钟我想吃早饭 or 我想今天吃早饭 okay)?

I think it's just the same when it is in english: 今天我想吃早饭 - Today I want to have breakfast 我想八点钟吃早饭 - I want to have breakfast at eight 我想今天吃早饭 - I want to have breakfast today 八点钟我想吃早饭 - At ...
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4 votes

What's the amount of time in 足足有一刻钟,简默的脸上现出了惊喜和迷惑?

It means a full quarter of an hour. Besides that, 足足 also have a meaning to describe the duration of the time is very long for the person at speaking. It's like an emphasize. In this sentence, it ...
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4 votes
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How appropriate is 现在是什么时间? for asking the time?

Both 现在是什么时间 and 现在几点了 mean the same. 现在几点了 is used in casual situations. 现在是什么时间 sounds that the speaker might think there would be something happening shortly or at certain time, so he/she wants ...
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  • 23.7k
4 votes
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Should words like 一般 or 平时 be put before or after the time reference?

Tl;dr: There is inherent adverbial order in Chinese (point 2.). Sentences with the same adverbs ordered differently can have different meanings (points 3. to 6.). The correct order is 你平時/一般什麼時候做作業?. ...
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  • 5,455
4 votes
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Why add 左右 ("approximately") to the precisely stated time 25日17时15分左右?

It just means "around". In this case 左右 applies to the preceding "17时15分", to express that the time is not exact. The writer notes that there is a margin of error or uncertainty. ...
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  • 5,406
3 votes
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What's the difference between 后 and 以后?

后= after Examples: 吃饭后 = after eating dinner 15分钟后 = after 15 minutes 以后 = after 以后 (after) emphasizes on 'time after a specific event or action' Examples: 吃过那顿晚饭以后 = after eating that ...
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3 votes

How exactly do time and "tense" work in Mandarin REALLY?

There's several explanations already, but IMO they are just expanding on your question and not really fixing it, the straight up answer and the most fluent way is this. Q: 你怎么知道的?(How do you know ...
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  • 881
3 votes
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这就是台湾,这才是台湾. Cracking the 就 again

A lot of people are trying to explain 就 vs 才 with english equivalent terms, but that makes it very confusing when it can be explained with simple logic statements, and it is crucial to understand the ...
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  • 346
3 votes

What are the rules surrounding word order when talking about time (e.g. are 八点钟我想吃早饭 or 我想今天吃早饭 okay)?

I'm not an expert in sentence structure, but I believe 我想今天吃 has a more focus on the necessity of eating something today, where 今天我想吃 does not have such focus. As for the case of specific timing,...
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3 votes
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Meaning of this sentence: 我几个月后再来

I will come again after a few months: "I" "a few months" "after" "again come."
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3 votes
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Usage advice: 什么时候vs哪个时候

I agree with zyy that 什么时候 is definitely better in the sentence. 哪个时候 is like literally translated from "which moment", but in Chinese, we express as "what time" so you should use "什么时候" or "什么时间"
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  • 46
3 votes
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Express ordinal number of hour in Chinese?

I had never head the expression 第……小时 be used to describe time. 第三个小时的第五分钟 would be more confusing, and more complex than 两点零五. But the similar form may be used when the time is related to some ...
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  • 408
3 votes
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What is the Chinese equivalent of "time to [A]"?

I don't think there's a fixed expression to reliably translate "time to X". According to the context, there's a few ways to go about it, that I can think of right now. Broader actions When X ...
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  • 5,406
3 votes

Is 二千〇二十 - 八月 - 二十九 correct?

I am sorry to tell you. No, the Year is in the wrong format. In Chinese, Years are read in the formate of 4-digits. It should be 二零二零年 八月 二十九日. The only exceptions are 2000"两千年", 2001"...
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  • 2,606
3 votes

Does 兩點九 mean 2:09 or 2:45?

兩點九 is in traditional-chinese, with the missing characher "分" , implies Cantonese way of timing. traditional-chinese is mainly used in HongKong/Taiwan/Macau. simplified-chinese is used in ...
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  • 139
3 votes

Telling time: 零两分 vs 零二分

You would say for 2:02pm as 下午兩點零二分, but not for 12:02pm 中午十兩點零兩分 is not correct, 中午十二點零二分 is the right way. P.S. I live in Hong Kong, we might pronounce that differently in terms of wording than ...
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