Chinese doesn't have tenses

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Roderick Young, May 4, 2015.

  1. Roderick Young

    Thread Starter Member

    Feb 22, 2015
    The words used go something like this:

    Yesterday, I drive car.
    I drive car. (Could be any tense including Perfect, infer meaning from context.)
    Later, I drive car.
    Next year, I drive car.

    Every language seems to have places where multiple words are required. Maybe it has to do with what's important to the culture. English for example, is weak on pronouns for "you." We use the same word for one person as for a group, so if I'm talking to three people, I have to say "y'all," "you lot," "you guys," "you folks," etc. Hawaiian is precise in that aspect. There is a different word for singular you, dual you (closest is "you two" in English), and plural you. It's also a different word between "the person I'm talking to plus the other person near us," "the two people near us other than the person I'm talking to," and "those two people over there." In theory, I could say "Do you want to go to the movies?" to a girl in a group, and it would be clear whether I was asking just her on a date, inviting the whole group for an outing, or inviting the rest of the group except her (since Cheryl is working, would the rest of you like to go to the movies?), just by using the right form of "you". The forms of "my," "your," "our," and "my beloved" are similarly precise.
  2. tcmtech

    Distinguished Member

    Nov 4, 2013
    My english class teachers hated me for pointing out this sort of stuff when I was in school.


    When I was in school my english teachers hated me for pointing this sort of stuff out.


    Years ago when I was in school I liked to point out these sort of english language inconsistencies. My english teachers hated me for it.

    My personal favorite was "Spell it like it sounds. (Unless of course its spelled different.) " :p

    I like to have my colonels of corn on the cob not off. ;)
  3. Glenn Holland


    Dec 26, 2014
    Pardon me for being "Politically Incorrect", but I knew an Asian student who was on the honor roll with a 3.8 GPA, however she could not speak or write english properly.

    Her verbal and written communication was always in an asian dialect and she would always leave out tenses and plurals. If an american student wrote or talked that way in a course involving english composition, he/she would get a "C -" or a probably "D".

    How in the Hell does someone who can't speak or write english get on the honor roll - or is the system being dumbed down for foreign students?
    Brian Griffin likes this.
  4. Lestraveled

    Well-Known Member

    May 19, 2014
    Wow, sounds like a pretty tense situation.
  5. Roderick Young

    Thread Starter Member

    Feb 22, 2015
    If she was taking expository writing, she should have gotten a C or D, based on what you say. But it sounds like honor roll is based on GPA alone. If someone takes general Math and gets an A, that counts the same as someone who took Calculus and gets an A. Likewise, if her class was English as a Second Language, all she would have to do is perform well according to class standards. Or maybe she had 5 A's, and a C+ in English.
  6. Brian Griffin


    May 17, 2013
    I've seen that already in my work. I'm an Asian, and I admit my English is all not perfect and I'm still polishing this everyday.

    In the institution I'm working, there are many students who struggled in English as well. They get their "lend" and "borrow" wrong many times, and their vocabulary is very limited (they even don't know the word "blade" and "pliers"). Some even insisted to speak in Mandarin which I'm not familiar. In that response I just continue to speak in English. :)
  7. Glenn Holland


    Dec 26, 2014
    Please understand I don't intend to be rude to Asians or any other ethnic group.

    I know there are a lot of foreign students and workers in the science and engineering business here in the U.S.

    I feel that there are a lot of American students who want to go into "STEM", but they are not getting "Equal Opportunity". The educational system here in the U.S. (1St grade though high school) is very poor quality. I have made many attempts to correct this problem, but there is a lot of opposition to positive change and many want to keep things like they are.