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I was helping a friend with her Chinese homework and I saw that she tried the following sentence pattern:


This sounded awkward and incorrect to me. My explanation was that it is redundant to use both 正在 and 一邊. Anyway, so I came up with a few other ways to say it that sounded right to me:




Problem is that she only knows 正在 at this point, not [verb]著. And, the exercise in her homework requires her to use 正在 alone. So this led us to try writing:


But now that sounds funny to me... any thoughts?

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Both "她正在一邊喝咖啡,一邊聽音樂" and "她正在聽音樂、喝咖啡" sound fine to me.

在 + V + 着 is colloquial and can be heard spoken, but I don't think that it is grammatically correct in writing. At least that was the result of our last 在 and 着 discussion here. 在 and 着 are different ways of indicating that an action is progressing, and are usually tied to particular verbs (stative verbs tend to take 着 , while action verbs tend to go with 在). I can't find the thread now, if anyone can remember it, it would be great to link to it.

正在 + V + 着 sounds very odd, I don't think it's right.

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Hmm, that makes a lot of sense. I was desperately trying to force the 正 in there for examples 2 and 3. However, if I was going to say it aloud, it would've omitted the 正 and just said "在 [verb] 著"...

My thinking was that I didn't want to confuse her even more by explaining that 正 is optional.

Thanks for the help!


Also, "正在一邊" returns just shy of 900,000 G-hits with lots of different examples. So in this instance, my intuition was a complete failure to me :oops:

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You have to love it how a thread named "a few simple beginner questions" ended up being all super technical :P

haha, well said!


A Taiwanese colleague of mine just gave me these corrections






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I would write, 她邊喝咖啡,邊聽音樂。

Thanks skylee! I also presented her with that option, but she was hesitant to stray from her book this early in her Chinese education. And, the book presents the structure as "一邊……,一邊……".

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