Chinese Grammar – 6 Phrases to Remember

2011 July 8
by Alena



Mandarin grammar can be challenging for anyone learning the language. In some ways it is simpler than the grammar of European languages because there is no subject / verb agreements to worry about. However, it is significantly different from what most Westerners are used to. Hills Learning offers our students a multi-part series on Chinese grammar patterns. Regular practice will ingrain these patterns and help you master Mandarin grammar and correctly express your thoughts.

1)      以…..为例  (yi3……wei2li4)

Meaning: to take something/someone as an example

Example: 加入世贸并不意味消除腐败,一些南美国家为例,腐败并未因入世而减少。

Meaning: Being a member of WTO does not lead to elimination of corruption; one can take South American countries as an example, where the level of corruption remains the same.

2)      为此…..(wei2ci3)

Meaning: for this reason; because of this

Example: 他一直没履行自己的义务,为此被解雇了。

Meaning: He failed to carry out his responsibilities; that is why he was fired.

3)      简言之…..(jian3yan2zhi1)

Meaning: in short; briefly (usually used in the beginning of a sentence)

Example:  简言之,世贸组织的原则是开放,公平,透明。

Meaning: In short, the ideals of the United Nations are openness, equality and transparency.

4)      对了…..(dui4le0)

Meaning: by the way, besides (if used in the beginning of sentence; means that something has suddenly occurred to the speaker)

Example: 对了,冰箱里还有一瓶啤酒呢。

Meaning: By the way, there is a bottle of beer in the fridge.

Example: 对了,今天我还要去看大夫。

Meaning: Besides, I have to go to see the doctor today.

5)       非…..不可  (fei1….bu4ke3)


a)  cannot help but do something; must do something

b)      definitely, certainly, without any doubts

Example:  要想学好汉语,学好汉字不可

Meaning: Learning Chinese inevitably involves learning Chinese characters.

Example:  医生说住院不可

Meaning: The doctor says that I must go to the hospital.

Example:  你穿这么多少出去,感冒不可

Meaning: If you don’t put the warm clothes on and go outside, you will definitely catch cold.

6)      从而…..(cong2er2)

Meaning: therefore; thus; as result

Example: 大规模生产能降低成本,从而使产品便宜些。

Meaning: As a result of mass production the products have become less expensive.

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