Expressing "on the basis of" with "ping"
凭 (píng) is a preposition that means "on the basis of" or "by virtue of." Usually the subject of a sentence which makes use of 凭 is a person.
Structures using 凭
凭 with a Noun
凭 can be followed up with a noun or noun phrase. The nouns can be something concrete like a passport, diploma, or official ID, or they can be something abstract like experience, efforts, intuition, etc.
凭 + Noun / Noun Phrase ……
- 凭 护照， 外国 人 可以 买 火车 票。Using a passport, foreigners can buy train tickets.
- 他 凭 自己 的 努力 学 了 三千 多 个 汉字。He studied more than three thousand Chinese characters through his own efforts.
- 我们 凭 学生证 在 电影院 享受 折扣 优待。With our student ID cards, we enjoy a special discount at the movie theater.
凭 with a Verb Phrase
凭 can also be used with a verb phrase or subject-predicate phrase as follows:
凭 + Verb Phrase ……
- 凭 我 学 中文 的 时间 比 你 短 但是 说 得 比 你 好，我 就 可以 说 我 比 你 聪明。From the fact that I have studied Chinese for a shorter time but speak it better than you, I can say that I'm smarter than you.
- 凭 老 李 在 这 一 行 做 了 二十 年，他 就 有 资格 做 你 的 师傅。On the basis of Lao Li's twenty years of experience in this industry, he is qualified to be your teacher.
- 他 只 凭 歌声 就 能 听出 是 谁 唱 的。He could tell who was singing just by the sound of the song.
- 学好 跳舞 不 能 只 凭 看 迈克尔·杰克逊 的 视频， 还 得 凭 自己 的 努力。Watching Michael Jackson's videos isn't enough to learn how to dance. You also have to rely on your own efforts.
凭 with 什么
This is one of the most common ways to use 凭, especially in spoken Chinese. It often has a feeling of dissatisfaction or anger, perhaps said during an argument. It is like saying, "On what basis do you ...!?!?" Usually it is paired with blaming, scolding, attacks, etc.
Subj. + 凭什么 + Verb Phrase …… ？！
- 你 凭什么 怪 我！On what grounds are you blaming me?
- 我 没有 做 错，他 凭什么 骂 我？I haven't done anything wrong. What is he yelling at me for?
- 她 一直 很忠诚， 你 凭什么 怀疑 她？ She's always been honest. On what basis are you suspicious of her?
Structure with 凭着
You can also add 着 to 凭 to make it 凭着, however when you do so you can only use it if the action has already been completed. If the action occurs habitually or has not happened yet, you cannot use 凭着. The structure is the same as using 凭 by itself.
凭着 + Noun / Noun Phrase ……
- 小白 凭着 自己 的 努力 致富 。On the basis of his own hard work, Xiao Bai was able to become rich.
- 他 凭着 智慧 战胜 了 很 多 的 困难。Using his intellect, he was able to overcome many difficulties.