Jump to content
Chinese-forums.com
  • Sign Up
Learn Chinese in China
  • Why you should look around

    Since 2003, Chinese-forums.com has been helping people learn Chinese faster and get to China sooner. Our members can recommend beginner textbooks, help you out with obscure classical vocabulary, and tell you where to get the best street food in Xi'an. And we're friendly about it too. 

    Have a look at what's going on, or search for something specific. We hope you'll join us. 
LuDaibola

How could this sentence be correct?

Recommended Posts

LuDaibola

I recently learned a sample sentence that I downloaded from Archchinese but, today, as I was studying GrammarWiki, I began to wonder how the sentence could possibly be correct.  Here's the sentence:

 

即使分手了,他們還是朋友。

 

And the translation they give is:

 

Even though they are divorced, they are still friends.

 

Since the fact that they are divorced is not hypothetical, wouldn't we need to use 雖然 instead of 即使 in this instance?  The reason I'm not just chalking this up to a typographical error on their part is because it's a sentence with audio and I can't help thinking that the person who recorded the audio, who is obviously Chinese, would have caught any simple mistake.

 

What am I missing here?  Thanks.

Share this post


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.

anonymoose

So what do you think 即使 means then?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
lakesandrivers

Hmm I do not mean to nitpick but being pedantic could mean exactly that, but it is pretty clear-cut that 分手 is break-up and 离婚 is divorce. This much is the same where East meets West. I am no professor, but that translation given could be better. 男女朋友之间用得着离婚吗?话说回来,夫妻之间能轻易一拍两散分手吗?

 

Otherwise, OP, 即使 does mean that. Immerse yourself in books, movies, drama and conversations and you would absorb these up auto-magically.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
陳德聰

Perhaps I can try being helpful:

 

即使 can mean hypothetical “even if,” but it can also mean “even though.” The difference will depend on whether we can tell that something actually happened or not.

 

In this case, it’s the second half saying 還是, which to me implies that the following situation persists to now and is a real, non-hypothetical situation.

 

If it were hypothetical, I might expect something like: 他們即使分了手,還會做朋友.

  • Helpful 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
imron
8 hours ago, LuDaibola said:

What am I missing here?

In any given language, there are multiple ways to express the same concept.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
LuDaibola
14 hours ago, 陳德聰 said:

即使 can mean hypothetical “even if,” but it can also mean “even though.” The difference will depend on whether we can tell that something actually happened or not.

 

That makes perfect sense and explains the discrepancy.  If the sentence is translated as "even if," their divorce or break-up is hypothetical and GrammarWiki's rule applies.  It seems like an odd statement, nonetheless, but given the fact that my daughter has remained friends with every one of her past partners (yes, sigh, there have been many), it's possible that I would say something like that to someone who asks, 你喜歡她的男朋友嗎?to which I would reply, 喜歡,但我認為他們將分手。當然,即使分手了,他們還是朋友。

 

15 hours ago, lakesandrivers said:

Immerse yourself in books, movies, drama and conversations and you would absorb these up auto-magically.

 

 

Yes, I'm still at the stage where I get excited when I hear a word that I just learned being used in "real life."  I had just learned 分手 when ariinbeijing posted a YouTube video where he tearfully recounted his recent breakup with his girlfriend (alas, my Mandarin isn't sufficient for me to understand why the breakup occurred).  Having said that, I'm not sure how useful immersion actually is.  I'm currently watching the historical drama, Nirvana in Fire, on Viki (fascinating drama, btw, if you haven't caught it) and catching the odd word here and there but am not sure how helpful this is for actual learning.  Case in point, I've been hooked on Korean dramas for years now but know very little Korean after (I'm embarrassed to say how many) hours of viewing. Oh well, this is getting off the subject.
 

10 hours ago, imron said:

In any given language, there are multiple ways to express the same concept.

 

True, and I'll try not to be so literalistic in the future . . . I keep wanting all the rules to make sense all the time but I do, sometimes, realize how unrealistic that is.  Still, it's so nice to hear all of these different perspectives from those of you who are proficient in this language.

 

Thanks for the feedback and sorry for the delay in responding.  For some reason, I wasn't getting any notices yesterday so I thought no one had taken a gander.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×