At high school, I learned French for 5 years.

eni8ma

Senior Member
English - Australia
Are each of these grammatically correct? Does it make a difference whether I put the language before or after the time period? Is sentence 1 better constructed than sentence 2? What improvements or alternatives can you suggest?

1.
- 在 中学,我 学习 法语 学了 五 个 年
- At high school, I learned French for 5 years.

2.
- 在 大学,我 学习 了 一 年 俄语
- At university, I studied Russian for one year.

3.
- 几年前,我 学过 一 年 半普通话
- A few years ago, I was learning Chinese for eighteen months.
 
  • moia

    New Member
    Chinese
    It doesn't make a difference with the different order of words.
    在 中学,我 学习 法语 学了 五 个 年
    Grammatically correct, but sounds unnatural to me. How about 在 中学,我 学习 法语 学了 五 个 年头 or 在 中学,我 学习 法语 学了 五 年?
     

    eni8ma

    Senior Member
    English - Australia
    It doesn't make a difference with the different order of words.
    在 中学,我 学习 法语 学了 五 个 年
    Grammatically correct, but sounds unnatural to me. How about 在 中学,我 学习 法语 学了 五 个 年头 or 在 中学,我 学习 法语 学了 五 年?
    - 在 中学,我 学习 法语 学了 五 个 年。( = year head? what does this mean?)
     

    moia

    New Member
    Chinese
    年头,年头儿 niántóu,niántóur 解释【year】∶年份 我到北京已经三个年头了 【years】∶时代;年月 这年头工人农民的生活好起来了 【harvest】∶年成;年景 今年又是丰收的好年头
     

    eni8ma

    Senior Member
    English - Australia
    So is "consecutive years"?

    Otherwise*, the sentences are all good? I'm surprised - was expecting at least one grammatical error :)

    (
    * I meant, apart from comments already made :))
     
    Last edited:

    SuperXW

    Senior Member
    Are each of these grammatically correct? Does it make a difference whether I put the language before or after the time period? Is sentence 1 better constructed than sentence 2? What improvements or alternatives can you suggest?

    1.
    - 在 中学,我 学习 法语 学了 五 个 年
    - At high school, I learned French for 5 years.

    2.
    - 在 大学,我 学习 了 一 年 俄语
    - At university, I studied Russian for one year.

    3.
    - 几年前,我 学过 一 年 半普通话
    - A few years ago, I was learning Chinese for eighteen months.
    a. Are each of these grammatically correct?
    The structures are all correct. But 五个年 is wrong. I don't think we say 五个年 in any circumstance. 年 here is like a measurement unit. 个 should not be used.
    As moia suggested, 五个年头 is more grammatical because 年头 is the colloquial noun for "year", 个 is necessary before 年头. However, I think 年头 is more common among northern Chinese, elders, and villagers.(personal experience, not sure) I feel it's not natural to say "learn a language for 五个年头..."
    五年 shoud be your best choice.

    b.Does it make a difference whether I put the language before or after the time period?
    I don't feel any essential difference.

    c.Is sentence 1 better constructed than sentence 2?
    Both good except the 五个年 problem.
     

    eni8ma

    Senior Member
    English - Australia
    a. Are each of these grammatically correct?
    The structures are all correct. But 五个年 is wrong. I don't think we say 五个年 in any circumstance. 年 here is like a measurement unit. 个 should not be used.
    As moia suggested, 五个年头 is more grammatical because 年头 is the colloquial noun for "year", 个 is necessary before 年头. However, I think 年头 is more common among northern Chinese, elders, and villagers.(personal experience, not sure) I feel it's not natural to say "learn a language for 五个年头..."
    五年 should be your best choice.
    Thanks :D
    Revised sentences:
    1.
    - 在 中学,我 学习 法语 学了 五 年
    - At high school, I learned French for 5 years.

    2.
    - 在 大学,我 学习 了 一 年 俄语
    - At university, I studied Russian for one year.

    3.
    - 几年前,我 学过 一 年 半普通话
    - A few years ago, I was learning Chinese for eighteen months.
     
    So is "consecutive years"?

    Otherwise, the sentences are all good? I'm surprised - was expecting at least one grammatical error :)
    You can think like this.
    头 头 means head. A head is the top of a man.
    January is the bottom of a year.December the top of a year.
    means from the bottom of the year to the top of the year.
    It equals a year.
    My english is poor.I hope you can understand.:)
     

    copyleft

    New Member
    Chinese
    ha, 年头 definitely doesn’t mean “year head”. It’s just a fixed expression.
    (I would like to explained that I’m a Chinese student, who is not good at English. )
    年头 is not commonly used in daily conversations because it is often used to express a kind of feeling that the time is long, and especially this period is tough, when it means "year(s)".

    I prefer 在中学,我学了五年的法语。And it is better to say that 我在中学学了五年的法语。
    In this 2 sentences, the word could be omitted since it just make the sentence read more smoothly (personally speaking). It is grammatically correct if omitted.
     

    eni8ma

    Senior Member
    English - Australia
    You can think like this.
    头 头 means head. head is the top of a man
    January is the bottom of a year. December the top of a year.
    means from the bottom of the year to the top of the year
    It equals a year.
    My English is poor.I hope you can understand.:)
    Thanks - so not "consecutive years", but "full years" ...
     

    eni8ma

    Senior Member
    English - Australia
    ha, 年头 definitely doesn’t mean “year head”. It’s just a fixed expression.
    I know that :D I just had no idea what the expression meant, and could not find it in any dictionary :)

    - 在 中学,我 学了 五 年 法语。(我 在 中学 学了 五 年 法语。)
    - At high school, I learned French for 5 years.

    I like this one as well - it's clean and simple :). The original was modeling an example from a grammar book (apart from my mistake with 个 年)

    I'm thinking I'll keep the location at the front of each sentence, because it sets the time as well - high school, university (soon after high school), then in recent years.

    谢谢 大家 :)
     
    I know that :D I just had no idea what the expression meant, and could not find it in any dictionary :)

    - 在 中学,我 学了 五 年 法语。(我 在 中学 学了 五 年 法语。)
    - At high school, I learned French for 5 years.

    I like this one as well - it's clean and simple :). The original was modeling an example from a grammar book (apart from my mistake with 个 年)

    I'm thinking I'll keep the location at the front of each sentence, because it sets the time as well - high school, university (soon after high school), then in recent years.

    谢谢 大家 :)
    I`m sorry there is an error in my expression.
    10年头=10年=10years This is wrong.
    10年头=10年=10years This is right.
     

    moia

    New Member
    Chinese
    I think 年头 is more common among northern Chinese, elders, and villagers.
    If the use of a final "er", 儿话音 that is, is considered standard useage by 北外 teachers, it should be totally acceptable to say 年头 in everyday language.
     
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