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is this a mistake here by Chinese grammar wiki?

你 真 能 吃!
Nǐ zhēn néng chī!
You ate so much!



Why is here "ate" simple past used.  I would translate this into "You really can eat"

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It does seem odd that if its suppose to be an example of using "really" that it should leave it out of the English.


I agree that "You can really eat" is the more logical translation in this situation, but "You ate so much" sort of means the same thing so in another situation it might be correct.

A hard one to call?

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Best to think in terms of the situation not the precise English: what would you say to your friend right after you saw him wolf down two Big Macs and three large fries.


Further, when using Chinese study materials you can almost always if not always count on the Chinese being correct, but not necessarily the English, unless a native speaker did some careful editing first. So don't over-analyse the English translations.

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Yes, it's a literal vs. context issue within translation.  Of course, the literal meaning is "You can really eat!"  But the meaning within the context would be "You ate so much!"


"You can really eat!" is the idiomatic way a Chinese person would express the sentiment "You ate so much!"  This much is obvious if you consider the fact that there is almost no context in the English language within which the phrase "You can really eat!" makes any sense, except if you were to say it after witnessing a person eat a lot of food.

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On 6/15/2020 at 6:07 AM, murrayjames said:

and is a cool guy.

Totally agree.  I still listen to John's Chinesepod lessons from many years ago.  No matter how many times I listen, I still find them interesting.  He & the other Chinesepod instructors (Dilu, Jenny & Ken) had a special magic.  John offered lots of cultural input that supplemented the language learning.  My Chinese friends are always surprised when I'm aware of aspects of Chinese culture that I learned from his lessons.  Sometimes cultural differences aren't obvious & you need someone to point them out.  John did.


These lessons still have value in surprising ways.  I recently got to know a Chinese dentist.  Because of CP's lessons on dentistry, I knew about some of the basic differences in dentistry between the US and China (and I didn't have to ask her "What is a dentist doing working in a hospital?" or why her work focuses on very serious oral problems versus the US approach of preventative dentistry).     






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On 6/15/2020 at 4:32 AM, sinosplice said:

P.S. Do people like suggesting edits to the Chinese Grammar Wiki on here? I may not be able to catch every post

I will notify you when I see more mistakes. I am going through each lecture of Chinese Grammar Wiki and reading everything. The lecture of this thread is very easy for me. I just wanted to do the Wiki completely to not miss something and so I started from the beginning. Are you this John of Chinese Pod? Then I am also hearing you there regularly.

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