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Expressing "on the basis of" with "ping"

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凭 is a preposition that means "on the basis of" or "by virtue of." Usually the subject of a sentence with 凭 is a person.

Structure with 凭

凭 with a noun

凭 can be followed up with a noun or noun phrase. The nouns can be something concrete like 银行卡, 身份证, etc., or they can be something abstract like 经验, 努力, 感觉 etc.

凭 + Noun / Noun Phrase

Examples

  • 护照, 外国 人 可以 买 火车 票。With the help of a passport, foreigners can buy train tickets.
  • 自己 的 努力 学 了 三千 多 个 汉字。He studied more than three thousand Chinese characters on his own volition.
  • 我们 学生证 在 电影院 享受 折扣 优待。Since we have 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 / Subj.-Predicate

Examples

  • 怪不得 那 个 孩子 的 数学 不 好,他 只 计算器 算。No wonder that kid's math is so bad. It's because he always uses a calculator.
  • 学好 跳舞 不 能 只 看 迈克尔·杰克逊 的 音乐 录像带, 还 得 凭 自己 的 努力。Watching Michael Jackson music videos isn't enough to study how to dance. You also have to push yourself.
  • 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 Old Li's twenty years of experience, he is qualified to be your teacher.
  • 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 better than you, I can say that I'm more intelligent than you are.

凭 with 什么

This is one of the most common grammatical phrases, heard many times. It often has a feeling of dissatisfaction or anger, perhaps said while people are arguing. It is like saying "On what basis do you ...!?!?" Usually it is paired with blame, scold, hit etc.

Subj. + 凭什么 + Verb Phrase

Examples

  • 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. How can you scold me?
  • 她 一直 很忠诚, 你 凭什么 怀疑 她? She's always been honest, how can you mistrust 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 actions happens frequently 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

Examples

  • 小白 凭着 自己 的 努力 致富。Off of his own hard work, Little Bai was able to become rich.
  • 凭着 智慧 战胜 了 很多 的 困难。Using his intellect, he was able to overcome many challenges.

See also

Sources and further reading

Books