Rosetta Stone does it both ways (1) who (2) when (3) rest of the sentence -or- (1) when (2) who (3) rest of the sentence. For example: zuótiān wǒ pǎo shí gōnglǐ 昨天我跑十公里 yesterday I ran 10 kilometers tā zuótiān dǎ wǎngqiú le 她昨天打网球了 she played tennis yesterday zuótiān wǒ mǎi ròu hé shūcài le 昨天我买肉和蔬菜了 yesterday I bought meat and vegetables wǒ jīntiān zài hǎitān shàng 我今天在海滩上 I am at the beach today I know in English, whether you specify the time at the beginning or end of the sentence does not change the meaning. It simply emphasizes different things depending on what appears first. Is this also the case with Chinese?
placing time words in sentences
January 3, 2015
January 27, 2015
Robert 你好！ Yes, you are correct. Because Chinese is a tonal language, putting stress and emphasis on syllables can often be difficult and has the potential to distort the meaning so we rely more where in the sentence we place words in order to be emphatic. We can also achieve this by adding markers at the end of sentences such as '吧' (in this case to soften the tone) etc. Keep up the good work and 加油！ - Lin Ping
February 2, 2015
Thank you for explaining that. It is confusing initially to try to make sense of these sentences, and Rosetta Stone offers no explanation leaving it up to us to figure things out. As you say, word order, like in English, can emphasize different parts of the sentence. Due to the tonal nature of Chinese, this becomes more important.
March 24, 2015
Although I often see the time period at the beginning of the sentence, my friend (who is from Hangzhou) always begins the sentence with the subject then the time period.