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Expressing "the more... the more..." with "yue… yue…"

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More than "putting stuff" after two instances of 越 (yuè) in a sentence, there are a number of very specific patterns you will notice if you want to get more sophisticated with 越 (yuè) and go beyond using the simpler 越来越 (yuèláiyuè).

Pattern with a Single Subject

Structure

Subj. + 越 ⋯⋯ ,越 ⋯⋯

It's normally verbs or verb phrases following each 越, but adjectives are also possible (typically after the second 越).

Examples

  • 我们 生气 。Wǒmen yuè xiǎng yuè shēngqì.The more we think about it, the angrier we get.
  • 喜欢 。yuè kàn yuè xǐhuan.The more I look at it, the more I like it.

Sometimes this pattern is best translated into English as "more and more," which is similar to 越来越 (yuèláiyuè).

  • 快 。"faster and faster" = "more and more fast"yuè pǎo yuè kuài.He ran faster and faster. / The more he ran, the faster he got.
  • 大 。"heavier and heavier" = "more and more heavy"yuè xià yuè dà.The rain got heavier and heavier. / The more it rained, the heavier it got.

Pattern with Two Different Subjects

Structure

What follows the first 越 is mostly the reason why the second 越 phrase happens.

Subj. 1 + 越 ⋯⋯ ,Subj. 2 + 越 ⋯⋯

Again, it's normally verbs or verb phrases following each 越, but adjectives are also possible (typically after the second 越).

Examples

  • 说 ,我 生气 。yuè shuō, wǒ yuè shēngqì.The more she talks, the angrier I get.
  • 你们 看 我 ,我 紧张 。Nǐmen yuè kàn wǒ, wǒ yuè jǐnzhāng.The more you look at me, the more nervous I am.
  • 走 ,腿 痛 。yuè zǒu, tuǐ yuè tòng.The more I walk, the more my legs hurt.

The More... the Less...

This is actually the same pattern as the last one, but it's different English translation makes it worth paying attention to.

Structure

越 ⋯⋯ 越 + 不 ⋯⋯

Examples

  • 让 孩子 学 ,孩子 想 学 。yuè ràng háizi xué, háizi yuè xiǎng xué.The more you push the kid to study, the less he wants to learn.
  • 问 ,我 想 说。yuè wèn, wǒ yuè xiǎng shuō.The more he asks, the less I want to tell him.
  • 这样 说 ,他 听 。yuè zhèyàng shuō, tā yuè tīng.The more you talk this way, the less he listens.

Colloquial Saying

This pattern involves the same verb repeated after each 越. It is limited to a small number of single-syllable verbs related to sensory perception, but you do hear it used.

Structure

Subj. + 越 + Verb + 越 + 想 + Verb

Examples

  • 这 本 书 我 想 看 。 Zhè běn shū wǒ yuè kàn yuè xiǎng kàn.The more I read this book, the more I want to read.
  • 这 种 零食 让 人 想 吃 。 Zhè zhǒng língshí ràng rén yuè chī yuèxiǎng chī.The more you eat it, the more you will want to eat.
  • 我 吃 了 这 个 药 以后 总是 想 睡觉 ,而且 想 睡 。 Wǒ chī le zhè gè yào yǐhòu zǒngshì xiǎng shuìjiào, érqiě yuè shuì yuè xiǎng shuì.I'm always so sleepy after taking this medicine. And also, the more I sleep, the more l want to sleep.

See also

Sources and further reading

Books