Jump to content
Learn Chinese in China

Classical Chinese negative elements (e.g. 否、無) in Modern Usage?

Recommended Posts

As part of my study of Classical Chinese, I need to write an essay, and I figured I would write one about how the usages of the 文言 negative elements have been preserved, both in Dialects (which is another topic), and in public signs and such in every-day use.

I'm mostly just looking for examples, and links or thoughts on why they're preserved for these usages. I'd also be interested in examples other than just public signs (Where I guess it's purely for emphasis?). I'm also keeping this strictly to negative particles, thanks.

The other thing is that while I may be studying 文言, my 白话 isn't really all that good (despite being a third-year student!), and I'm looking mostly for books or websites or what have you in English.

Thanks in advance all. :)

Link to post
Share on other sites
Site Sponsors:
Pleco for iPhone / Android iPhone & Android Chinese dictionary: camera & hand- writing input, flashcards, audio.
Study Chinese in Kunming 1-1 classes, qualified teachers and unique teaching methods in the Spring City.
Learn Chinese Characters Learn 2289 Chinese Characters in 90 Days with a Unique Flash Card System.
Hacking Chinese Tips and strategies for how to learn Chinese more efficiently
Popup Chinese Translator Understand Chinese inside any Windows application, website or PDF.
Chinese Grammar Wiki All Chinese grammar, organised by level, all in one place.

否 and 無 are used a lot in forms, where you have to check the box: Are you married 是 否.

I see 是否 (as one word) a lot in questioning sentences where it translates to 'whether or not'. (I was going to make a sample sentence along the lines of 'Whether or not Chen Shuibian was a good president will be decided by future generations', but found that my written Chinese doesn't get me much further than 陳水扁是否...)

無 is used a lot in expressions that started out as classical Chinese but were carried over to modern usage, like 一無所有 and many others.

I hope this helps!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and select your username and password later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Click here to reply. Select text to quote.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...