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Advanced uses of "lian"

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连⋯⋯都⋯⋯ (lián... dōu...) is a pattern that can be used to emphasize certain unexpected or surprising events or information. It is used the same way even is in English.

连 as "Not at All"

Structure

连 + Verb + 都 + 不 / 没 + Verb (,就 ⋯⋯)

Using this type of sentence structure emphasizes "not even at all..."

Examples

  • 朋友 ?这个 人 我 没 见 过 。Péngyou? Zhège rén wǒ lián jiàn dōu méi jiàn guo.Friends? I've never seen this person.
  • 你 怎么 不 问 拿 别人 的 东西 ?Nǐ zěnme lián wèn dōu bù wèn jiù ná biérén de dōngxi?Why are you taking other people's stuff without even asking?
  • 不 说 走 了 。lián shuō dōu bù shuō jiù zǒu le.He just left without even telling.
  • 你们 没 尝 说 不 好吃 ?Nǐmen lián cháng dōu méi cháng jiù shuō bù hǎochī?You guys didn't even taste it at all and you say it's not tasty?

连 as "Not even One"

"连"在这个句型中,是语气副词,加强语气。去掉不影响句子的完整性。详见Expressing "not even one"

Structure

连 + 一 + Measure Word (+ Noun) + 都 + 不 / 没 + Verb

Examples

  • 两 年 前,他 一 句 中文 不 会 说 。Liǎng nián qián, tā lián yī jù Zhōngwén dōu bù huì shuō.He couldn't even say a sentence in Chinese two years ago.
  • 一 套 西服 没有 ?lián yī tào xīfú dōu méiyǒu?He doesn't even have one suit?
  • 我们 一 次 没 见 过 。Wǒmen lián yī cì dōu méi jiàn guo.We haven't even met once.

See also

Sources and further reading

Books