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是。。。的 Constructions: Colloquial Chinese chapter 13



Chapter 13 of Colloquial Chinese: 打电话

Picked up Colloquial Chinese and flipped to a later chapter at random to get the ball rolling, show y'all I'm not slacking! There were some pretty easy vocab-based exercises at the end of the chapter and then these two.

Exercise 3

"Translate the following sentences:"

1) What time did David leave?

David 是几点走的?

David 是什么时候走的?

I know that 几 is used when you expect the answer to be a small number (my book says usually less than 20) and I thought 什么时候 was used to ask questions about time when the answer could be weeks, months, etc so would have thought 几点 to be the better answer.

2) I came to work by bike this morning


3) Whenever you like, you decide


4) He does not like to take the bus, no matter when


Could you come to collect me?

5) 你可以来接我吗?

I've read that 可以,会 and 能 are interchangeable in a situation like this but since it sounds like asking a favour I thought that 可以 was more polite, since 会 is more like "are you able to..", and 能 is "can you"

6) What time and where exactly shall we meet?


This reads a bit oddly to me. My thoughts were that I needed 要 as "shall we meet" refers to something happening in the future

Exercise 4

"How do you ask Xiao Li the following?"

So when it refers to past events in every question I saw this as a blatant prompt to use 是。。。的 since the grammar section says,

"...it is used in interrogative sentences, which ask about the time, place or manner of an action that happened in the past" and also, "...used in positive sentences that emphasize the time or manner of a past action". I checked out the forum and it agrees pretty well with this summary I think.

1) What time did you leave work yesterday?


2) How did you get to work yesterday?


3) Was it last night that your younger sister arrived?


4) When did your younger sister start learning English?


Ok, time for bed! Will come back to this soon but just wanted to get something posted so I have a starting point for next Wednesday. So it's 中秋节 soon too and I get an extra day off work, woop! Who knows, maybe I'll do more homework?


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