Grammar pattern: 在......(之)下

June 11, 2010, 10:54 AM posted in I Have a Question
Hi! I have a penpal who wrote this sentence "我曾经在大家帮助下,钓了一条比较大的鱼。". I need help to translate it. I get the general meaning of it but can't figure out the details. E.g. 1) This grammar pattern 在......(之)下 is apparently used in the sentence but I don't realize the meaning of it. 2) Why 曾经 and not 已经? 3) 大家 refers to a group of peolpe, in this case my penpals relatives (if I got it right). Is it common to call the family 大家?
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June 11, 2010, 11:21 AM

Hi Dunderklumpen,

1) You can think of it as the prepositional phrase "with ~", in this case "with everyone's help". 在~下 is the conditions if you will, under which what you're describing is happening/has happened. 

2) 已经 would be already. 曾经 is once, one time.

3) I would think you could certainly call the family 大家, but hope you hear from people who can tell you how common it is.

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June 11, 2010, 01:18 PM

Many thanks zhen :-) 明白了!