My book says that this structure is used to express the change of something, and it gives me this example:


But I think I didn't understand this structure really well. When should/shouldn't I use it? For example, can I say 由星期日而星期一有一天? If so, what's the difference between this sentence and this-> 从星期日到星期一有一天?

Can you please give me more example and more information about this structure? Thank you!

2 Answers 2


由 is "from"/而 is "and then". 由X而Y is used to described a continuous evolution (verb Y) from one state (noun X) to another. Per your own example it is an evolution from being white to turning red (红 is being used as a verb here).

Notice how you inserted the verb 到 in your second sentence: you would need to add “至" in the first sentence to make it roughly comparable (though it seems weird to say 而至 here, though perhaps only because the register is too formal). In that case, X is 星期一 and Y is 至: 星期二 can't be repurposed as a verb like 红 can.


I don't think '由星期日而星期一有一天.' is good Chinese.

从星期日到星期一只有一天。or 从星期日到星期一就是一天。is a strange thing to say anyway.

How about these examples of 由 。。而 from iciba?

臭氧由氧气和紫外线发生反应而产生。Here ‘由发生-而产生‘ might be 'made of, produced by'

家鸡是由东南亚原鸡演变而来的。Here 由-而来 might be 'comes from'

As well as 'from' mentioned by Master Sparkles above, 由 is also a passvisor, which in English may be represented as 'by'.

而 is complicated, its simplest use is 'and'.

Imagine the following dialogue on a Saturday evening.

我不能等。我不要等。现在给我吧! 从星期日到星期一只有一天,你耐心等吧。

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