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Expressing "for" with "wei"

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When you work for a company, or do other sorts of physical (and even mental) activities for another party, you're likely to use the Chinese preposition 为 (wèi), which is often translated into English as "for," a translation which is often unnatural or unnecessary, depending on the particular phrase. The super common Mao-era phrase, 为人民服务 ("serve the people"), doesn't need the word "for" in English, for example.

Don't confuse this preposition with 为了, which is a bit different.


为 + [Some Part] + Verb


  • 人民 服务。Wèi rénmín fúwùServe the people
  • 公司 做了一个市场调查。wèi gōngsī zuò le yī gè shìchǎng diàochá.I did a market research for our company.
  • 美国 政府 工作。wèi Měiguó zhèngfǔ gōngzuò.She works for the United States government.
  • 老师 总是 学生 操心。Lǎoshī zǒng shì wèi xuésheng cāoxīn.The teacher cares about the students.
  • 公司 她 提供 了 很 多 资源。Gōngsī wèi tā tígōng le hěn duō zīyuán.The company provided her with many resources.

See Also

Sources and further reading