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I have some problems to translate Chinese sentence


#1

Hello!
Now I am studying Chinese.
Then I have some problems to translate this sentence “那里没有水, 也没有电, 晚上只能用小油灯照个亮, 用水要到几里地以外的地方去挑。”
I think it means that " there is no any water and electricity, so they use only oil lamp in the evening and should carry land water from the other side."
I have not cleared the grammar above sentence.
Especially about “用水要到几里地以外的地方去挑”, I am not clear.
So please help me about this and share the correct translation and grammar.
Thanks.


#2

Hi Juna!
Thanks for writing in with you question. I will break the sentence down in parts:
那里没有水 --> that place doesn’t have running water
也没有电 --> and also doesn’t have electricity
晚上只能用 --> at night time, you can only use
小油灯照个亮 --> a small oil lamp for illumination. This part has an interesting structure, X 个 X. Other examples of this that you may come across are 吃个饭,eat a quick meal 穿个衣服, pop to get dressed. The 个 comes in the middle of the verb and the object. The effect of this structure is to convey a more casual and quick tone to what you are saying.
用水要到 --> to use water (you) need to go to take note that here, 要 means need not want
几里地以外的地方 --> a place that is several kilometers away. Here, I think you are a little confused by the 地. In this phrase, the 地 is actually optional, but it is just emphasising that the several kilometers are being measured across land. The addition of 地 is used in mainland China, but is more rare in Taiwan. You can visualise this as XXX 的地方。The XXX is the description of the place。
到。。。去挑 --> go there to carry (the water back). 挑 is often used when talking about ancient times.
The 到。。。去 structure is very important to learn if you don’t know it already. You use it like this: 到 place 去 verb。 It means go somewhere to do something. Another example would be 到火车站去买票 go to the train station to buy tickets.
So, the whole sentence translated would be: That place doens’t have running water or electricity. If you want light at night time, there is only an oil lamp. To get water you need to go somewhere several kilometers away and carry it back.
If you have more questions let me know!


#3

Oh! Thanks very much Aurelia.
I can see all wonderful solutions of my problems.
我刚来中国学汉语的留学生。所以我的汉语还不行请多多帮助。
太感谢您的帮助。
请问一下儿, 我在学习汉语口语的时候,哪个教材是好? 电影资料 还是 教科书 比如 “中级汉语口语".
谢谢!