Descriptive Pairs

We often use two adjectives or adverbs when describing things, as in "The books is both interesting and informing." In Mandarin Chinese, this kind of sentence is constructed with 又 (yòu).

The sentence format is like this:

    SUBJECT – 又 – STATIVE VERB – 又 –STATIVE VERB

Stative verbs are verbs which describe a relatively unchanging condition, and have a similar function to adjectives and adverbs.

Here is an example:

    高速鐵路又快又舒服。
    高速铁路又快又舒服。
    Gāosù tiělù yòu kuài yòu shūfu.
    The high-speed train is both fast and comfortable.

Neither Nor

The opposite of "both … and" is "neither … nor", which is Mandarin Chinese is expressed 也不 … 也 不 (yě bù … yě bù), in this construction:

    SUBJECT – 也不 – STATIVE VERB – 也不 – STATIVE VERB

Here is an example:

    今天也不太熱也不太冷。
    今天也不太热也不太冷。
    Jīntiān yě bù tài rè yě bù tài lěng.
    Today is neither too hot nor too cold.

Adding A Reservation

Sometimes we need to add a qualifying statement to our two positive points, as in "He is so bright and smart, but he has no job." This is done with 可是 (kě shì) in this construction:

    SUBJECT – 也 – STATIVE VERB – 也 – STATIVE VERB – 可是 – STATEMENT

Here is an example:

    他也有錢也聰明可是沒有女朋友。
    他也有钱也聪明可是没有女朋友。
    Tā yě yǒu qián yě cōngmíng, kěshì méiyǒu nù péngyou.
    He is both rich and intelligent, but he doesn’t have a girlfriend.

Not Only

Another common expression is "not only … but" as in "He is not only talented, but rich." In Mandarin, this type of sentence is constructed with 不但 (bú dàn) … 也 (yě):

     SUBJECT – 不但 – STATIVE VERB – 也 – STATIVE VERB

Here is an example:

    他不但有錢也大方。
    他不但有钱也大方。
    Tā bù dàn yǒu qián yě dàfāng.
    He is not only rich, but also generous.

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