City University of Hong Kong CLASS CLASS
Making Sense of Grammar
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asked Nov 25, 2020 in Questions about Chinese Grammar by Mickey (7,400 points) | 27 views

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yuánlái 原来 and běnlái 本来 can both mean ‘originally’, with the opposite meaning of ‘current’, but they are different in two aspects.

First, běnlái 本来 can be used to express the meaning of ‘It should be it in light of the certain reason.’ For example,

1)我本来想昨天给你,但是忘记了。

Wǒ   běnlái     xiǎng         zuótiān      gěinǐ,    dànshì    wàngjìle

I    originally  want to    yesterday  give you       but         forget

‘I meant to give it to you yesterday, but forget it.’

Under such circumstance, we is ungrammatical to use yuánlái 原来.

Second, , 原来 means ‘out of anticipation’. For example,

2)原来你的能力这么强,我以为你不会这些技能。

Yuanlái        nǐde     nénglì   zhème  qiáng, wǒ   yǐwéi     nǐ     búhuì                zhèxiē  jìnéng

Originally    your      ability    so       strong    I      think    you    don’t know     these   skills

‘You are so capable, I mistakenly thought you didn’t have these skills.’
answered Nov 25, 2020 by Mickey (7,400 points)

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