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Two Difficult Phrases You Have to Know

We are all familiar with the basic English expression “more and more”, an expression which actually exists in many languages. Chinese is no exception. These expressions are in the HSK 3 examination syllabus. Though they seem similar, they are quite different. Many learners couldn’t tell the difference between them, and often use them incorrectly even after they have reached a high level of Chinese learning. So, in this article we will talk about the features and usages of each phrase.

1. 越来越……

“越来越……” means that as time goes by, the degree of something changes along with the passing of time. The sentence structure is:

Subject + 越来越 + adj./ mental verb (+……)


1). 他的个子越来越高。(Tāde gèzi yuè lái yuè gā)

He is getting taller and taller。

2). 她长得越来越漂亮。(Tā zhăng de yuè lái yuè pià)

She becomes more and more beautiful.

3). 我越来越喜欢画画儿。(Wŏ yuè lái yuè xĭhuan huàhuà)

I like painting more and more.


“越……越……”means that the degree of something changes along with the development of the situation. Thus, where “越来越”focuses on time, “越……越……”focuses on a change of situation. “越……越……”is a little bit more complicated than “越来越” , and it has three common sentence structures:

(1) Subject +越+Verb+越+adjective / Verb

In this structure, we put a verb after the first”越”(yuè), and put an adjective or a mental verb after the second ”越”. It indicates that the degree of the adjective or the mental verb changes along with the development of the first verb.


1). 汉语越学越难。(Hànyǔ yuè xué yuè ná)

The more you learn Chinese, the more difficult you will find it.

2). 这个问题越想越复杂。(Zhège wèntí yuè xiăng yuè fù zá.)

The more you think about the problem, the more complicated

it will seem.

(2) Subject + 越 + adjective1 + 越 + adjective2

In this structure, we put two different adjectives separately after each ”越”. That mean the degree of the first adjective leads to the changes of the second adjective.


1). 朋友越多越好。(Péngyou yuè duō yuè hăo.)

It’s better to have more friends.

2). 苹果越红越甜。(Píngguŏ yuè hóng yuè tián. )

The more red the apple looks, the more sweet it tastes.


(3) Subject1 + 越 + adjective1/Verb, Subject2 + 越 + adjective2/mental verb (+……)

In this structure, there are two subjects. The degree of the second subject varies along with the situation of the first subject.


1).他越解释,我们越糊涂。(Tā yuè jiĕshì, wŏmen yuè hú)

The more he explained, the more confused we felt.

2). 咖啡越苦,我越喜欢喝。(Kāfēi yuè kǔ, wŏ yuè xĭhuan hē.)

The more bitter the coffee, the more I like to drink it.

Source:Dig Mandarin


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