<Did/Do/Will you have to> work overtime?

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Senior Member
Canada, English

How can you distinguish between "Did you have to 加班", "Do you have to 加班" and "Will you have to 加班" in Chinese? (How can I ask this question?)
For example: 你今天需要加班吗?
Could this mean "Did you have to 加班 today?", "Do you have to 加班 today?" and "Will you have to 加班 today?"
  • eversummer

    Chinese - China
    "你今天需要加班吗?" cannot mean 'Did you have to 加班'. It can mean 'Do/will you have to 加班 today' but more accurately, it means 'Will you 加班 today?' If we want to express the meaning 'Do/will you have to 加班 today', we would say “你今天必须加班吗?”。


    Senior Member
    My attempt:

    Did you have to 加班:你当时/那时不得不加班吗?(it happened in the past.)
    Will you have to 加班:你今天晚上/明天不得不加班吗?(it will happen in the future.)
    In Chinese, you just need to include or state the time frame (当时/那时/今天晚上/明天), then the tense is very clear.

    The present tense is very tricky, I am still uncomfortable with the present tense. If I made any mistakes, please correct me.

    I have to work overtime:我总是不得不加班。(This is a repeated action.)
    I am working overtime now==>我现在在加班。
    I have to work overtime now==> I think this sentence is wrong, but most Chinese people, including me, always make mistakes like this.
    Do you have to 加班:你常常/总是/经常不得不加班吗?

    note one more thing:
    I work in London ==>我在伦敦工作(In this situation, adding 常常/总是/经常 makes it weird.)
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