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some questions regarding classical Chinese


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Hello everyone,

now we are learning the function of in classical Chinese.

Maybe you could help me with these phrases?

1古之人與民偕樂, 故能樂也

2 始吾于人也, 聼其言而觀其行


thanks a lot again,

and god bless this site! :D

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The usage of 也 ->也


for 古之人與民偕樂, 故能樂也 - the function of 也 is "表示判斷或肯定的語氣" (No. 1 in the link)

for 始吾於人也, 聽其言而觀其行 - the function of 也 is "用來引起下文" (No. 4 in the link) [also note that the font of 聽 in the OP is wrong]

for 其為人也多欲 - the function of 也 is "置於句中,以調整音節語氣" (No. 6 in the link)

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Dear Skylee,

* about: 古之人與民偕樂, 故能樂也

Does it mean: Because the ancient people were united in their happiness, they could be happy. ?


* about: 始吾于人也, 聼其言而觀其行

Does it mean: Since I was born, I listened to his words and watched his deeds ?

* about 其為人也多欲

I don't get the 其 here... and so i don't get the 為 in this context...

I see it's something about desires... but what?

Will you help me figure out this mystery? :)

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Oh I thought you just needed help on the function of 也.

I believe your second sentence is wrong. First, the minor font problem - is wrong. Second, the sentence is from the Analect Chapter 5 and should read, "吾於人也, 聽其言而其行" followed by another one of the same structure, "吾於人也, 聽其言而其行". Take a look at this -> http://www.confucius.org/lunyu/ed0509.htm



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Your first sentence is from Mencius's King Hui of Liang. Please take a look at Chapter II of this page -> http://nothingistic.org/library/mencius/mencius01.html

1. Mencius, another day, saw King Hûi of Liang. The king went and stood with him by a pond, and, looking round at the large geese and deer, said, 'Do wise and good princes also find pleasure in these things?'

2. Mencius replied, 'Being wise and good, they have pleasure in these things. If they are not wise and good, though they have these things, they do not find pleasure.

3. 'It is said in the Book of Poetry,

He measured out and commenced his marvellous tower;

He measured it out and planned it.

The people addressed themselves to it,

And in less than a day completed it.

When he measured and began it, he said to them --

Be not so earnest:

But the multitudes came as if they had been his children.

The king was in his marvellous park;

The does reposed about,

The does so sleek and fat:

And the white birds came glistening.

The king was by his marvellous pond;

How full was it of fishes leaping about!"

'King Wan used the strength of the people to make his tower and his pond, and yet the people rejoiced to do the work, calling the tower "the marvellous tower," calling the pond "the marvellous pond," and rejoicing that he had his large deer, his fishes, and turtles. The ancients caused the people to have pleasure as well as themselves, and therefore they could enjoy it.

4. 'In the Declaration of T'ang it is said, "O sun, when wilt thou expire? We will die together with thee." The people wished for Chieh's death, though they should die with him. Although he had towers, ponds, birds, and animals, how could he have pleasure alone?'

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The third sentence is also from Mencius. Please take a look at chapter 35 of this page -> http://nothingistic.org/library/mencius/mencius28.html

Mencius said, 'To nourish the mind there is nothing better than to make the desires few. Here is a man whose desires are few:-- in some things he may not be able to keep his heart, but they will be few. Here is a man whose desires are many:-- in some things he may be able to keep his heart, but they will be few.'

The Chinese original is "孟子曰:「養心莫善於寡欲。其為人也寡欲,雖有不存焉者,寡矣。其為人也多欲,雖有存焉者,寡矣。」"

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  • 1 month later...

I suspect that what you try to understand is -


If I am not wrong then you have made several typing/reading mistakes (horrible ones too) which is the basic reason why you couldn't find the information yourself.

It means - Loving one's parent is called "xiao4" (), respecting one's elders is called "ti4"().

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