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Say It Right Series

Please give grammar help!!!

Posted by xiaophil July 21, 2009 in the Group General Discussion.

Tags: grammar, sentences, phrases, punctuation

What is this about? 

I sometimes lack confidence in my grammar when trying to translate English tenses into Chinese.  I hope to somewhat clear up this problem here.  I am aware that it is probably futile to make solid rules for translating English tenses into Chinese.  Well, I’m not looking for rules.  I’m looking for rules of thumbs.  If you feel you know something about grammar, help a pathetic laowai out and look at my simple examples below.   

Regarding my examples, I’m especially curious about the following:

·         Are my translations grammatically correct?

·         Do my translations convey the original English meaning?

·         Are my translations relatively natural (or at least not unbearably awkward)?

·         Do you know an easier way?

Thanks to anyone who can help me out. 

Present Tense

I read books.


Present Continuous Tense

I am reading a book.


I am reading a book tomorrow.

我明天会看着书。(I’m really suspicious of using in this sentence)

Present Perfect Tense

I have read that book.

我看过那本书。(Is it okay to add and say 我看过了那本书?)

Present Perfect Continuous Tense

I have been reading that book.


Past Tense

I read that book.


Past Continuous Tense

I was reading that book.


Past Perfect Tense

I had read that book.


Past Perfect Continuous Tense

I had been reading that book.


Future Tense

I will read that book.


Future Continuous Tense

I will be reading a book.

我会看着书。(Again, I’m not so sure about the in this sentence.)

Future Perfect Tense

I will have finished reading that book by 10 pm.


Future Perfect Continuous Tense

I will have been reading that book for 2 weeks.

到那个时候我已经看了那本书两个星期。(Should there be a at the end of this sentence?)


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