2

看在孩子的分上,夫妇二人没有离婚。

In the phrase above, what do they mean? Neither is found in a dictionary.

The sentence is said to translate to "The pair would not divorce because of the children".

  • 看在 = for the sake of. 分 = separate. 上 is here just a complement. – user4452 Aug 30 '15 at 11:47
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    I think the should be . (4) 情分;情面 [affection]。如:看在妈的份上,别理他 – user4072 Aug 31 '15 at 2:33
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    @songyuanyao Agreed, and I think that's the key to understanding this structure. – NS.X. Aug 31 '15 at 18:34
4

看在

ABC

2 be for the sake of ...

看在你爸的面子上, 我原谅你。

Kànzài nǐ bà de miànzi shàng, wǒ yuánliàng nǐ.

For the sake of your father's face, I forgive you.

份上

Guifan

2 名 情分; 情面

看在老人的份上, 我不再跟他计较。

(口语中也说份儿上。)

Which basically translates to feelings, sensibilities, affections.

for the sake of, for sb.'s/sth.'s sake

ABC ENGLISH

wèile ( ... de lìyì) 为了(…的利益) ; kànzài ... de fèn shang 看在…的份上

We must do this for the sake of the children.

为了孩子,我们必须做这件事。

Wèile háizi, wǒmen bìxū zuò zhè jiàn shì.

So now we have our 看在…的份上 construct meaning roughly the equivalent of "for the sake of, for sb.'s/sth.'s sake" where 看在 means "for the sake" and "份上" means feelings or sensibilities.

You can stick anything in the middle for the "who's" sake/sensibilities/feelings/etc.

Some examples: (from Oxford)

for God's sake

看在上帝的分上


for Pete's sake!

看在老天的份上!


for heaven's sake

看在上帝的份上

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2

I would parse this as 看, look, 在, at, preposition (or result complement), 孩子, kids, 的, possessive particles, 分, separation, 上, a postposition forming a "prepositional sandwich" with 在. So literally, I would translate it to "Looking on the side of the children", which I would then render more loosely as "for the children's sake". So neither of those should be single words, they should both be two words, kàn zài and fèn shàng.

Then again, this is just my two cents, and I'm neither an expert, nor someone who's ever seen these two character combinations before, nor a mother-tongue.

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    I did not read your answer at first. I think you have analyzed it correctly – Peter Pan Aug 31 '15 at 10:39
0

People I ask agree with user3306356 it's '看在 。。。的份上' which means 'because of'.

A bit more info I got: There is a saying 《不看僧面看佛面》 《不看僧》 means 《不看在僧的份上》and 《看佛面》means 《看在佛的份上》

Not for the sake of the monk, but for the sake of the Buddha.

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