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Expressing "all along" with "yuanlai"

原来 (yuánlái) means "originally" (similar to 本来) as an adverb, or "original" or "former" as an adjective. As an adverb 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 have not realized?"

Used as "Original" or "Originally"

Structure

When used as an adjective:

原来 + 的 + Noun

When used as an adverb:

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 jiǔbǎi jiǔshí-jiǔ kuài.The original price of this piece of clothing was 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 all along. 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