Listening to this text, it sounded like 当属 is a word. I can find lots of examples of 当属 acting like a word, but dictionaries don't seem to regard 当属 as a word.

Could I simply replace 当 with 是 here?


4 Answers 4


当属 is an abbreviation of 应当属于, which means should be.

应当 means should, 属于 means be/is (of which the original meaning is belong to. Here maybe you can interpret it as attribute to? I'm not sure.)

So you can say 当属 or 应当是.

  • 1
    I sincerely believe, half of Chinese is abbreviated away. How is a poor 老外 supposed to understand that? Have an upvote! Thanks!
    – Pedroski
    May 9, 2015 at 6:37

No,you can NOT. "当属" IS a word. "当" means "should"; "属" means "是" ("be") here; "当属" means "should be". Moreover, "是属" is not a valid word in Chinese.

  • 1
    Are you sure about that? Can you give me a link to an online dictionary which shows 当属 as a word? The dicts I use do not show that.
    – Pedroski
    May 9, 2015 at 6:32

当属, the meaning is "would be" something..


The word 当 has multiple meanings. 当 itself mean 'when' or 'to hold a position' (as in 当之无愧). It could mean 'should' when pairing with 应~ or 該~. 仅当 means 'only if'. When pairing with other words, it seems that 当 does not carry any particular meaning.

In your context, I think the whole '当属' could be replaced with '是'. It is 'should be' in a very certain sense, similar to '非XX莫屬' (could not be anything else but XX).

ps. The word 令 should be added to the first sentence 其中令中国人感触最深的.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.