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Making Sense of Grammar
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asked Aug 13 in Questions about Chinese Grammar by Ariel (7,620 points) | 17 views

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The verbs bǐ rú(比如)and bǐ fāng (比方) both could be used to introduce examples for the function of further illustrating or complementing the conditions mentioned previously, like “for example” or “such as” in English. Děng děng (等等) is often added to the end of the list, indicating there are more besides the examples.

中國有許多傳統節日, 比如端午節、中秋節、重陽節, 等等。

zhōng guó yǒu xǔ duō chuán tǒng jiē rì, bǐ rú duān wǔ jiē,chōng qiū jiē,zhòng yáng jiē,děng děng.

There are many traditional festivals in China, such as Dragon Boat Festival, Mid-Autumn Festival, Chong yang Festival, and so on.

郊游的事情都安排好了, 比方谁开车、谁带队, 等等。

  jiāo yóu de shì qíng dōu ān pái hǎo le, bǐ fāng shuí kāi chē 、shuí dài duì, děng děng.

  Everything has been arranged for the outgoing, such as, who drives the car, who leads the team, and so on.

Bǐ rú(比如) and bǐ fāng (比方) also can be used in conditional sentences, taking an assumption as an example. Bǐ fāng (比方) is usually employed in the form bǐ fāng shuō(比方說), functioning as a parenthesis expression.

   比方説/比如你看到有小偷在行竊, 你會怎麼做?

   bǐ fāng shuì /bǐ rú nǐ kàn dào yǒu xiǎo tōu zài háng qiè , nǐ huì zěn me zuò?

   For example, if you see thieves stealing, what will you do?

Another function exclusive to bǐ fāng (比方) is to explain one thing that is more abstract and difficult to understand with another common and easy-to-understand example. In this case, bǐ fāng (比方) severs as a verb or a noun. A commonly used pattern is dǎ gè bǐ fāng (打個比方).

他的要求有多不切實際呢, 打個比方, 讓荒漠一夜之間變成海洋,你覺得可能嗎?

tā de yào qiú yǒu duō bú qiē shí jì ne, dǎ gè bǐ fāng, ràng huāng mò yī yè zhī jiān biàn chéng hǎi yáng ,nǐ jiào dé kě néng ma?

How unrealistic is his request? For example, do you think it is possible to turn a desert into an ocean overnight?

answered Aug 13 by Ariel (7,620 points)

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993 questions
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13 comments
7,389 users