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How to use “lìng” and “lìng wài” in Chinese

another in Chinese, Chinese words, learning Chinese

Once your Chinese learning reaches an intermediate level, you may find that you have some difficulty with synonyms. Most Chinese learners wonder if these synonyms are interchangeable, or wonder which particular word(s) to use in a situation where a couple of words appear to be applicable. Using "另外/另" as an example – let's see how to properly use each of them.

另外 (lìng wài)

1. The pronoun "另外" indicates a person(s) or thing(s) other than those that have already been mentioned, often used in the structure "另外(+的)+Num-M(+N)" or "另外+的(+N)". For example:


我还要跟你谈另外一件事情。

wǒ háiyào gēn nǐ tán lìngwài yījiàn shìqing.

There's another thing I want to talk over with you.


这件衬衫有点儿大,你试试另外那件吧。

zhè jiàn chènshān yǒudiǎnr dà, nǐ shìshi lìngwài nà jiàn ba.

This shirt is little too big for you, try on the other one.

2. When "另外" is used as an adverb, it means "beyond the scope of what we had mentioned previously", and is often used together with "还/再/又". For example:

他今天没有时间,我们另外再找人吧。

tā jīntiān méiyǒu shíjiān, wǒmen lìngwài zài zhǎo rén ba.

He's not available today, shall we find another person.

3. Finally, the conjunctive form of "另外" means "besides," and is used to connect clauses or sentences, etc. For example:


希望你能按时完成工作。另外,你还应该穿得正式点儿。

xīwàng nǐ néng ànshí wánchéng gōngzuò. lìngwài, nǐ hái yīnggāi chuān de zhèngshì diǎnr.

I hope you can finish the work on time, besides, you should dress more formally.

另 (lìng)

On the other hand, "另" is the abbreviated version of "另外." Both of them can be used as pronouns referring to the person(s) or thing(s) other than what has been mentioned and as adverbs meaning "beyond the scope mentioned previously," like we discussed above.

However, there are also some differences between them:

1. Though "另外" is often used in the structure "另外+(的)+Num-M(+N)" or "另外+(的)(+N)," this structure may or may not include "的." If "另外" is replaced by "另", then one must omit "的."

For example, if you want to say "I'm using this computer, please use the other one." You can say:


我在用这台电脑,请你用另外/另一台吧。(√)

wǒ zài yòng zhè tái diànnǎo, qǐng nǐ yòng lìngwài /lìng yītái ba.


我在用这台电脑,请你用另外的电脑吧。(√)

wǒ zài yòng zhè tái diànnǎo, qǐng nǐ yòng lìngwài de diànnǎo ba.


我在用这台电脑,请你用另外的一台吧。(√)

wǒ zài yòng zhè tái diànnǎo, qǐng nǐ yòng lìngwài de yītái ba.

And you cannot say:

我在用这台电脑,请你用另的一台吧。(×)

我在用这台电脑,请你用另的电脑吧。(×)

2. "另" is usually used to modify a monosyllabic verb, while "另外" has no such restriction.

E.g. 


最近小宇太忙了,没时间帮你,你还是另外/另找别人吧。

zuìjìn Xiǎoyǔ tài máng le, méi shíjiān bāng nǐ, nǐ háishì lìngwài/lìng zhǎo biérén ba.

Xiaoyu has been very busy recently, and she has no time to help you. You should ask someone else.


他不但帮我们解决了现在的问题,还另外提供了不少新的材料。

tā búdàn bāng wǒmen jiějué le xiànzài de wèntí, hái lìngwài tígòng le bùshǎo xīn de cáiliào.

He not only helped us solve the problem, but also provided us with some new materials.

3. Finally, though "另外" can be used as a conjunction, "另" cannot.

E.g. 


冬季应该多吃水果。另外,还要记得多喝水。(√)

dōngjì yīnggāi duō chī shuǐguǒ. lìngwài, háiyào jìdé duō hēshuǐ.

You should eat more fruit in winter. Besides, remember to drink more water.

Note that in some set or idiomatic phrases, such as: 另有打算(lìng yǒu dǎ suàn; have other plans), 另立户头(lìng lì hù tóu; open another/separate bank account) etc. "另" is the best choice.

Can you tell apart "另外" and "另" now? The quickest way to learn the difference between synonyms is using sample sentences to make your own sentences, getting your own sentences proofread by a Chinese teacher, then memorizing the sentences that you made.

Now, let's do some practice:

Tick or cross

另外/另  


1、这个房间是我的,____一个房间是你的。

zhège fángjiān shì wǒ de, ____ yīgè fángjiān shì nǐ de.

This room is mine; the other one is yours.


2、我虽然有一个电脑,可是我还想____买一个。

wǒ suīrán yǒu yīgè diànnǎo, kěshì wǒ hái xiǎng ____ mǎi yīgè.

I already have one computer, but I want to buy another one anyways.


3、服务员,请给我拿些餐巾纸。____,再给我来瓶啤酒。

fúwùyuán, qǐng gěi wǒ ná xiē cānjīnzhǐ. ____, zài gěi wǒ lái píng píjiǔ.

Waiter, please give me some napkin paper and one more beer please.


4、我今天很忙,咱们____再找时间谈吧。

wǒ jīntiān hěn máng, zánmen ____ zài zhǎo shíjiān tán ba.

I'm busy today, how about we find another time to talk?


5、这个饭馆人很多,我们去____的一家吧。

zhè gè fànguǎn rén hěn duō, wǒmen qù ____ de yījiā ba.

There are a lot of people in this restaurant, let's go to the other one.


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2016-06-22

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