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Just realized 还不 part in such phrase as "还不是因为爱", "还不都怪你" is quite tricky. How do you translate it into English?

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I think I'm even more confused after studying all the answers... o_O –  dr Hannibal Lecter Dec 18 '11 at 17:10
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It's nothing but love. –  Kabie Dec 18 '11 at 20:13
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4 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

It's translated as “actually", "really", "just"; it is used to show your emphasis. It's a very tricky expression because it has no negative meaning, while it has a negative look (不).You usually use this word in a sentence as a response to show your disagreement with the speaker.

You and your friends go hiking in a big mountain, and you get lost. Fortunately, you have a GPS device, and it helps you get out of the adversity. When you are safe, one of your friends says, "Thank goodness!". You would say,

这还不是因为我带了GPS导航仪。= It is really because I took the GPS navigator along.

Here, You imply that he should thank you!Not thank goodness!.

And another one would say

还不是我叫你带上的。=It's I who asks you to take it along.

Now,he wants everyone to know that they should thank him :)

还不是因为爱。= (It is) really because of love.

I also want to show you the negative form of this expression, you would say:

这还真不是因为爱。= This is really not because of love.

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This is wrong comparison. 还真不 != 还不. –  StarCub Dec 18 '11 at 0:32
    
I kind of "heavily" edited your answer correcting wording and changing the formatting. I think I didn't change anything regarding the meaning, but just check it to be sure. :) –  Alenanno Dec 18 '11 at 0:32
    
@Alenanno I noticed you changed my answer too. Mostly just re-formatting. Is there a standard way to present translations when English & Chinese sentences side by side? Or is it just personal preference? –  StarCub Dec 18 '11 at 0:38
    
@StarCub I don't think so, but I think translations on the side are better readable than translations under the original sentence. It's just a matter of "visual order". Of course people can rollback, though. :) –  Alenanno Dec 18 '11 at 0:58
    
@StarCub I think you mean "not equal to" by "!=", so what's the problem? I said “还真不" was the negative form of “还不" –  Huang Dec 18 '11 at 1:50
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Although it's not quite, you can think 还不 as double negation. The character 还 contains a 不 too. :)

I would translate 还不 as "isn't it". For example:

还不是因为爱 = Isn't it because of love.

还不都怪你 = Isn't it because of you to blame.

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Just note that this is simply a mnemonic device as the traditional character (還) does not contain the 不 element nor any other elements that connote negation. I suspect the 不 element in the simplified character is merely a phonetic component. –  Bjorn Dec 21 '11 at 19:29
    
I like this structure a bit better than "It's all/really because of love" because one usually says this phrase with a sort of half-questioning tone, rather than a flat declarative tone. –  weiy Dec 21 '11 at 20:04
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I think 还不=还不是,it might be translated into 'it's all'. Because in Chinese you could express the same meaning with “全都是。。。”.

还不是因为爱 = 全都是因为爱 = It's all because of love

还不(是)都怪你 = 全都(是)怪你 = It's all your bad

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I think StarCub has a good answer.

With an example of a person explaining why or why not he is inclined to help another person, I'd possibly translate it as

还不是因为爱 = If it wasn't for love...(I wouldn't help you)

Example meaning: I will help you, because I love you

还不都怪你 = If it wasn't all your fault...(I'd feel more inclined to help you)

Example meaning: I would help you, if only you weren't solely responsible

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