John
考试太难 — distinguishing past, present, and future “老师表示了担心考试太难”。 这个句子写得错吗? More importantly, does this sentence mean “The teacher expressed concern that the test she (already) gave was too hard” or “The teacher expressed concern that the test she (is currently giving) is too hard” or “The teacher expressed concern that the test (she was going to give) would be too hard”? How can I make clear the sentence clear about whether it is referring to a past, current, or future test? Thanks!
Jul 2, 2019 1:56 PM
Answers · 18
I'll tell you how I'd do it. Hopefully a native will correct my clumsy approach, and we can both learn. Basically, I'd just add modifiers. past: 老师表达担心刚才考的考试(出得)太难。 老师表达担心昨天的考试就太难了。 present 督导考试时,老师老师表达担心考试太难。 future 老师表达担心将考的考试太难。 老师表达担心明天的考试太难。 I am sure natives can give you much better advice, though.
July 2, 2019
Hello John, forgive me if im wrong. It seemes to me that you are relying a bit too much on your native tongue when u make a sentence in your target language, as I can see the phrase "expressed concern" in English has served like a chain on you. My suggestion is, get rid of it, and think like a native, so you won't sound clumsy. We wouldn't say 表示担心(n.),we'd say 担心(v.), unless u r a news anchor doing CCTV News report on international relations. 老师担心考试太难了 would be a natural sentence, though not specifying the time, which you would know in the context. If you really want a single clear sentence, they would be something like 老师担心昨天的考试太难了。 老师担心明天的考试会太难。
July 3, 2019
老师表示她担心考试太难了。 1.Past: 刚才的/昨天的/上周的...... 老师表示她担心刚才的考试太难了。 2.Present: 老师表示她担心现在正在进行的考试太难了 3.Future: 会 老师表示她担心考试会太难了。 Hope it helps!
July 2, 2019
“老師擔心她考題出得太難“ is more natural.
July 2, 2019
I think you might have been told that a verb followed by "了" expresses past tense. Yes. This is mostly true. However, in this example you've given, it's not how we would say it. Like if I wanna say "the teacher concerned that the exam was gonna be too difficult" I would normally say "老师当时表示担心刚才的考试会太难". Now when I think about it carefully, what differs the scenarios between where you should use a verb followed by "了" and where you should use a "当时" followed by a verb, is whether or not you have a clause in your sentence. If you have a clause in the sentence like that in your example, mostly the correct way to express past tense would be using "当时"+verb. If you don't have a clause in it, use verb+“了”. So the sentence you wrote is not correct. But of course, this is not the question you care about the most. I know. Lol ----------------------------------------------------------------->More importantly, does this sentence mean “The teacher expressed concern that the test she (already) gave was too hard” or “The teacher expressed concern that the test she (is currently giving) is too hard” or “The teacher expressed concern that the test (she was going to give) would be too hard”? How can I make clear the sentence clear about whether it is referring to a past, current, or future test? Good question. As you may know Chinese is not a tense-based language which means you will have to use a lot of additional words to express time. So I will give you some examples of how I would say them. 1) exam happened in the past. "老师当时表示担心刚才的考试会很难". 2) exam is happening. "老师当时表示担心现在正在考的考试会很难". 3) exam will happen in the future. "老师当时表示将来的考试会很难"。 Anyway, as an almost bilingual person, I do always find it very difficult to express time in Chinese compared with English, even though Chinese is my mother tongue. Being a non-tense-based language, the difficulty to explain complicated situations concerning time is definitely the downside of Chinese.
July 4, 2019
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