Expressing "more and more" with "yuelaiyue"
越来越 (yuèláiyuè) is used frequently in Chinese to express that some quality or state is increasing with time and is often translated into English as "more and more." This is the simple form of this pattern, which uses 来, but there is also a more complex one (which uses two different adjectives/verbs).
Used with Adjectives
This structure expresses that something is becoming more and more adjective over time, with the latter adjective changing with the verb. The most common structure is:
Subj. + 越来越 + Adj. + 了
- 天气 越来越 冷 了 。The weather is getting colder and colder.
- 你 女儿 越来越 漂亮 了 。Your daughter is getting more and more beautiful.
- 你 说 得 越来越 好 了 。You speak better and better.
- 技术 越来越 发达 了 。Technology is getting more and more developed.
- 空气 污染 越来越 严重 了 。The air pollution is getting worse and worse.
Used with Verbs
Subj. + 越来越 + Verb + 了
- 我 越来越 喜欢 上海 了 。I like Shanghai more and more.
- 你 越来越 了解 我 了 。You know me better and better.
- 我 越来越 理解 我 的 父母 了 。I understand my parents more and more.
When the verb is negative in Chinese, a translation like "less and less" with a positive verb might be more appropriate in English than sticking with a "more and more" translation. The Chinese pattern doesn't change, though.
- 我 越来越 不 相信 他 了 。I believe him less and less.
- 你 越来越 不 懂 我 了 。You understand me less and less.
Sources and further reading
- Common Chinese Patterns 330 (汉语常用格式330例) (pp. 295) →buy
- Integrated Chinese: Level 1, Part 2 (3rd ed) (pp. 153-4) →buy
- Integrated Chinese: Level 2, Part 2 (pp. 288-9) →buy
- Modern Mandarin Chinese Grammar: A Practical Guide (pp. 238-9) →buy
- New Practical Chinese Reader 3 (新实用汉语课本3) (pp. 185) →buy
- 40 Lessons for Basic Chinese Course (基础汉语40课下册） (pp. 340) →buy