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Anticipating the pronunciation of 為


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As the title says, I was wondering if anyone here had any tips or tricks for the anticipation of whether 為 will be a second tone or a fourth tone. I am 100% clear of their different grammatical functions, I am more interested in knowing how others deal with reading this character aloud in an article.


As some people here know, I've just started an interpretation course in the uk and right now this is a bit of an embarrassing stumbling block for me. I can read long news reports out loud at speed, but as soon as I hit a 為 near the beginning of a sentence there's a big gap as I try to figure out what grammar role its taking.


How do others deal with this problem?

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Haha, a tricky one.

How about this:

If there is a 所 in sight, then 爲 is wei2; otherwise there should be enough clues as to its reading, for example,

If at the beginning of a sentence, definitely wei4 (unless you're dealing with classical Chinese or chengyu, e.g. 爲政清廉, 爲人師表, 爲富不仁);

If followed by a verb or something inevitably leading to a verb, e.g. 爲在不遠的將來……, 爲更好地……, most certainly wei4;

If followed by a noun, look for 所;

Else ??



Sorry, now I see where the real confusion lies, lol

wei2: 爲女朋友所逼

wei4: 爲女朋友所作



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I think you need to skim ahead a few blocks before you start. That’s the only way I can think of. If you can hone in on the verb and its actor then you should be good to go.


I don’t have any hard and fast tips, and this is sometimes a challenge for me too. Publius’s tips about what comes immediately before and after are good.

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