Using "yi... wei..."

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One of the most elegant grammar patterns is 以 A 为 B (yǐ A wéi B). It is often found in formal writing and speech, and it is also one of the classical Chinese forms that is still in use today. In short, it means "Using A as B" or "taking A as B."


This grammar pattern is as versatile as "using/taking A as B" is in English. We might say "take his example as our standard," "use this piece as an example," or "take charity as our central tenet."

以 + A + 为 + B

Look to the following for some examples of how this pattern can be used


  • 先进 科技 手段, 发展 生产力 目标。
  • 许多 外国 企业 在 中国 快速 发展, 麦当劳 例,2000 年 有 50 家,现在 有 500 家。
  • 我们 公司 是 亚洲 市场 主, 欧美 市场 辅。

Commonly used expressions with 以

This grammar structure is often used with couplets and proverbs. Here are a few examples

  • 民生
  • 服务人民

Phrases like this are often used in government reports, newspapers, and academia.

Sources and further reading