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How to use “nìng yuàn” in Chinese

learn chinese, chinese grammar

Here are a couple of sentence structures for "宁愿 (nìng yuàn)":

以下是"宁愿"的两种句子结构:

宁愿 … 也不 …

宁愿 … 也要 …

The two are related but their meanings are opposite in some ways. This is an explanation of the grammar and usage of 宁愿.

这两种句子结构是有关联的,不过它们的意思在某些方面完全相反。以下是"宁愿"的语法和用法说明。

Rather A than B

宁愿 [A] 也不 [B]

This structure is really useful and pretty straightforward. It's used to express that someone would rather do action A than action B.

这种结构非常实用而且直白,用于表达某人"宁可做A动作也不做B动作"。

However, it's not exactly the same as 'would rather … than …' in English. Whilst it can be used to express a general preference, quite often it has the connotation that neither choice is particularly desirable, it's just that A isn't as bad as B.

不过,它并不完全类似英语里的"would rather … than …"。虽然它用于表示一般偏好,它往往暗示两种选择都让人不满意,只是A优于B。

The general structure is:

一般结构:

[someone] 宁愿 [verb phrase A] 也不 [verb phrase B]

It's not essential to express the alternative option, in which case the structure is simpler:

表达替代方案的情况并不总是以这样的方式,可以是更为简单的结构:

[someone] 宁愿 [verb phrase A]

我宁愿不说出来。

wǒ nìngyuàn bù shuō chūlái. 

I'd rather not say.

他宁愿星期五去。 

tā nìngyuàn xīngqīwǔ qù. 

He'd prefer to go on Friday.

你宁愿说谎也不要让他生气吗?

nǐ nìngyuàn shuōhuǎng yě bùyào ràng tā shēngqì ma? 

Would you rather lie than make him angry?

我宁愿死也不要跟你结婚!

wǒ nìngyuàn sǐ yě bùyào gěi nǐ jiéhūn! 

I'd rather die than marry you!

Rather [A] and [B]

宁愿 [A] 也要 [B]

This structure doesn't contrast the two options. Instead, it's used to explain that someone is willing to do something in order to achieve something else, or forego A but have B. A is undesirable, but B is worth it.

该结构并非用于比较两种选项。相反,它用于说明某人为了成就另一事而愿意做某事,或放弃A而做B。A是不合意的,而B是值得做的。

The general structure is:

一般结构:

[someone] 宁愿 [verb phrase A] 也要 [verb phrase B]

我宁愿不睡觉也要看完这本书。 

wǒ nìngyuàn bù shuìjiào yě yào kànwán zhè běn shū. 

I'd rather not sleep and finish reading this book.

我宁愿没有钱也要找到爱情。 

wǒ nìngyuàn méiyǒu qián yě yào zhǎodào àiqíng. 

I'd rather have no money but find love.

我宁愿忙点也要学好中文。

wǒ nìngyuàn táo xué yě yào wán diànzǐ yóuxì. 

I'd rather keep busy and learn Chinese.


Translated from: eastasiastudent.net


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2016-06-22

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