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laser2302

The character 光

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laser2302

Hi everyone,

I need some help with one word in the following sentence:

陶同学颇为遗憾地对记者说:“因为我经常能收到这种诈骗短信,我觉得好玩就把每次的中奖金额记在日记本上,前两天我才发现,在11月9日-11月28日期间的累计奖金竟高达103.6万元,光中奖的汽车就有两辆!”

The character 光 in 光中奖的汽车就有两辆 generally means 'only' or 'just'. But what does it mean here? What it expresses or what expression the athour is trying to give. How would you translate 光中奖的汽车就有两辆 in English?

Thanks

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Stone.CN

The phrase "光 statment1 就 statment2" emphasizes the statment2.

In this context,the author shows his great surprise to the number 2(二),

what he doesn't say is that it's indeed inconceivable.

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Smafy

光中奖的汽车就有两辆

only consider the cars for the prize, there are two.

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creamyhorror

光中奖的汽车就有两辆

After the explanations here, I think it literally means: "Even speaking purely about [the number of] cars won, I actually won two [whole cars]." I get the feeling it make a bit more sense if he had won some excessive number, say, 4 or 5.

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Sam Addington

This was an entirely new one for me. All these years and I never knew 光 could be used to mean 只. This sent me flying to my dictionary and I learned that 用光了 was written using 光. I never knew that, either. Even though it is a part of my active vocabulary.

I always like to know the "deep meaning" of a word, and I cannot come up with possible etymology explaining how a "ray" of golden sun can end up meaning "only" or "used up".

Another one that came to mind is 光头 = bareheaded. That one I can get ... I guess, but still.

Scholars to the rescue please.

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laser2302

Haha...I totally agree with you Sam. While reading Chinese news articles, I also come up with many words that have a completely different meaning in the sentence than in the dictionary, and it sometimes just doesn't make sense. But at the end, I have to except things even if I don't understand that why they are put in this way or that way.

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Sam Addington

The other senses of 光 were in the dictionary. If you don't have a dictionary that covers most common uses of a word I'd suggest you get a better dictionary! The one I use is The Contemporary Chinese Dictionary published by Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press. This is a bilingual edition of 现代汉语词典 which has been around in the Chinese-only version for years. It is an excellent and comprehensive dictionary.

What I was asking for was a possible etymology of the the expressions that do not relate to the most obvious expression meaning "light" I don't know if there is a dictionary out there that would cover this, but certainly someone has some ideas ... like why do we say "Kick the bucket?"

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