Using "er" to explain contrasting ideas

(Redirected from ASGMX0ZS)

The conjunction (ér) is used to connect two sentences that are related to each other, and is also frequently used to emphasize contrast between two parts of the sentence. In this manner, it can be seen as a word meaning "but rather." 而 is often used in a more formal or literary sense, but is also common in everyday speech.

Start with 是

Frequently you'll see the pattern in one of these two more specific forms involving the verb :

Structure

不是……,而是……

是……,而不是……

Strictly speaking, the 而 isn't required in either of these patterns, but it makes the contrast super clear.

Examples

  • 以后 后悔 的 人 不 是 我, 是 你 自己。Yǐhòu hòuhuǐ de rén bùshì wǒ, ér shì nǐ zìjǐ.The regretful person isn't me. It's you.
  • 现在 要 做 的 不 是 责怪 谁 错 了, 是 怎么 解决。Xiànzài yào zuò de bùshì zéguài shéi cuòle, ér shì zěnme jiějué.Now is not the time to accuse who did it wrong, but to figure out how to resolve it.
  • 我 没 说 不 是 想 骗 你 ,而 是 怕 你 不 高兴 。Wǒ méi shuō bùshì xiǎng piàn nǐ, ér shì pà nǐ bù gāoxìng.The reason I didn't tell you isn't that I wanted to lie to you; it's that I was afraid you would be upset.
  • 不 是 不 想 帮 你 ,而 是 没有 能力 帮 你 。bùshì bùxiǎng bāng nǐ, ér shì méiyǒu nénglì bāng nǐ.It's not that I don't want to help you, it's that I have no ability to help you.
  • 重要 的 不是 你 的 外表 ,而是 你 的 内心 。Zhòngyào de bùshì nǐ de wàibiǎo, ér shì nǐ de nèixīn.What's important is not how you look on the outside, but rather what's on the inside.
  • 生活 中 不是 缺少 美 ,而是 缺少 发现 美 的 眼睛 。Shēnghuó zhōng bùshì quēshǎo měi, ér shì quēshǎo fāxiàn měide yǎnjīng.It's not that life is lacking in beauty, but rather that we lack eyes that discover it.
  • 我们 来 办事 的 ,不是 来 玩 的 。Wǒmen shì lái bànshì de, bùshì lái wán de.We're here to do our job, not to have fun.
  • 你 这样 做 害 他 ,不是 帮 他 。Nǐ zhèyàng zuò shì hài tā, bùshì bāng tā.By doing this you were hurting him, not helping him.
  • 不好意思 ,我 不 小心 ,不是 故意 的 。Bù hǎoyìsi, wǒ shì bù xiǎoxīn, bùshì gùyì de.I'm sorry. It was an accident. It wasn't on purpose.

Generalized Pattern

Structure

Sentence 1, + 而 + Sentence 2

Examples

  • 我 今天 去 你 家 找 你 了, 你 不 在 家。Wǒ jīntiān qù nǐ jiā zhǎo nǐle, ér nǐ bù zàijiā.I went to your house today to find you, but you weren't home.
  • 孩子 发烧 很 严重, 你 一点 都 不 关心。Hái zǐ fāshāo hěn yánzhòng, ér nǐ yīdiǎn dōu bù guānxīn.Your child has a very severe fever, but you must not care.
  • 她 在 公司 很 受 欢迎, 我 并 不 喜欢 她。Tā zài gōngsī hěn shòu huānyíng, ér wǒ bìng bù xǐhuān tā.She is very popular at the company, but I don't like her at all.

As you can see, 而 comes between the two to stress the contrast.

See Also

Sources and Further Reading

Books

Websites