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Expressing "all along" with "yuanlai"

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原来 (yuánlái) means "originally" (similar to 本来) or "former." It can also mean "all along," and can be used to indicate a sudden realization of something previously unknown, a bit like "so it's been like that all along, how could I not have realized?"

Used as "Original" or "Originally"

Structure

原来 + 的 + Noun

Subj. + 原来 + Predicate

Examples

  • 原来 的 发型 也 很 可爱 。yuánlái de fàxíng yě hěn kě'ài.Your original hairstyle was also very cute.
  • 这 件 衣服 原来 的 价格 是 999 块 。Zhè jiàn yīfu yuánlái de jiàgé shì 999 kuài.The original price is 999 RMB.
  • 她们 原来 只是 邻居 ,现在 是 很好 的 朋友 。Tāmen yuánlái zhǐ shì línjū, xiànzài shì hěn hǎo de péngyou.Originally they were just neighbors. Now they're very good friends.
  • 我们 原来 住 在 浦东 ,几 个 月 以前 搬 到 了 这里 。Wǒmen yuánlái zhù zài Pǔdōng, jǐ gè yuè yǐqián bān dào le zhèlǐ.Originally we lived in Pudong. We moved here a few months ago.
  • 原来 她 是 他 的 中文 老师,现在 是 他 老婆 。Yuánlái tā shì tā de Zhōngwén lǎoshī, xiànzài shì tā lǎopo.She was originally his Chinese teacher. She is now his wife.

Used as "All along"

Structure

原来 + [New Information]

Examples

  • 原来 是 你 !Yuánlái shì nǐ!So it was you all along!
  • 原来 你们 认识 !Yuánlái nǐmen rènshi! So you both knew each other this whole time!
  • 原来 是 这样 !Yuánlái shì zhèyàng!Oh, so it's like that!
  • 原来 你 这么 有钱!Yuánlái nǐ zhème yǒuqián!It turns out you are so rich!
  • 原来 你 在 骗 我 ! 我 怎么 那么 傻 ? Yuánlái nǐ zài piàn wǒ! Wǒ zěnme nàme shǎ?You have been tricking me, how could I be so stupid?

The more formal expression 原来如此 (yuánlái rúcǐ) can be used like 原来是这样 in example 3.

See also

Sources and further reading

Books