I am under the impression that Chinese multi-character words form their meaning from that of the characters that form these words. (Let me know if I am mistaken!)
I know that 不得已 means "to have to". But consider each character, as described on wiki:
- 不, "not"
- 得, "particle to connect verb with modifying clause/to have to"
- 已, "already/then/to stop"
How do these three characters form the meaning of the whole expression? Or is there no rule to this?
Also, my understanding is that 得 (dė) is a particle, yet 得 (děi) means "to have to". That said, would the pronunciation of 得 in this expression be
Thanks in advance!