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Expressing purpose with "weile"

为了 (wèile) is most often used to indicate the purpose of an action or the person that will benefit from some act of kindness. In the "purpose" sense, it almost exactly corresponds to "in order to" or "for the purpose of" in English.

Basic Usage

When 为了 indicates the purpose of an action, it's usually acting as a preposition. In this role, the whole "为了 phrase" should come before the verb.

Structure

为了 ⋯⋯ ,Subj. ⋯⋯

Note also that 为了 is a single word; the 了 here is not serving its role as a particle in this case.

Examples

  • 为了 钱 ,他 什么 都 愿意 做 。Wèile qián, tā shénme dōu yuànyì zuò.He's willing to do anything for money.
  • 为了 孩子 的 未来 ,他 决定 搬到 上海 。Wèile háizi de wèilái, tā juédìng bāndào Shànghǎi.He decided to move to Shanghai for his children's future.
  • 为了 这个 面试 ,他 买 了 一 套 很 贵 的 西服 。Wèile zhège miànshì, tā mǎi le yī tào hěn guì de xīfú.He bought a very expensive suit for this job interview.
  • 为了 找 灵感 ,那个 作家 搬到 了 农村 。Wèile zhǎo línggǎn, nàge zuòjiā bān dào le nóngcūn.In order to find inspiration, that writer moved to the countryside.
  • 五年 前 ,为了 女朋友 ,他 放弃 了 上海 的 工作。wǔniánqián,Wèile nǚpéngyǒu, tā fàngqì le Shànghǎi de gongzuò.Five years ago
he passed up a job in Shanghai for his girlfriend.
  • 为了 奖励 大家 ,公司 明年 带 你们 去 日本 旅行 。Wèile jiǎnglì dàjiā, gōngsī míngnián dài nǐmen qù Rìběn lǚxíng.In order to reward everyone, the company will take you all on a trip to Japan next year.

Expressing "The reason why"

Sometimes you will see 为了 following 是. In this case, 为了 mean "for." Note that 为了 and 因为 both have the character 为 in them, and they have sort of similar meanings.You will also see 因为 following 是, instead of 为了. It literally means "is because."

Structure

⋯⋯ 是 + 为了 / 因为 ⋯⋯

Example

  • 你 学 中文 是 因为 你 的 中国 女朋友 吗 ?Nǐ xué Zhōngwén shì yīnwèi nǐde Zhōngguó nǚ péngyou ma?Are you studying Chinese for your Chinese girlfriend?
  • 我 这么 做 是 为了 帮 你 。Wǒ zhème zuò shì wèile bāng nǐ.I did all this to help you.
  • 他 做 兼职 是 为了 多 赚 点 钱 。Tā zuò jiānzhí shì wèile duō zhuàn diǎn qián.The reason why he has a part time job is to make a little more money.
  • 我们 之 所以 反对 是 因为 风险 太 大 。Wǒmen zhī suǒyǐ fǎnduì shì yīnwèi fēngxiǎn tài dà.The reason why we disagree is because the risk is too high.

Note that 之所以 is a more difficult pattern, which means "the reason why" in a more formal way.

See also

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