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I'm looking at the phrase: "就算世界与我为敌" and I understand that the gist of it is: "Even against the whole world"

But, I don't fully understand how to properly parse it. In particular, the words:

与 - and / with

为 - as / because of / for

I'm not sure how they're being used here.

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与 here serves as a noun conjunction (you could replace it with 和), and links 世界 and 我 forming a composite subject. Its proper translation however depends on the verb that follows, which is 为. 为 oftentimes can be rendered just as "to be". It is after all a copular verb, especially in this sentence, therefore:

就算 / (世界 / 与 / 我) / (为 / 敌)

Even if it's me against the world

However, you should also consider that 与 can work as a preposition, thus it relates to the following 我 more strongly than "pure" conjunctions, so it's also acceptable to parse it as: 世界 / 与我 For this reason I would tend to give more prominence to 世界 semantically, therefore I think the best translation is:

Even if the world's against me

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就算 even if

世界 the world

与 and

我 I

为 as, being

敌 enemies

  • Is 就算 here interchangeable with 即使 and/or 那怕? – Yoav Vollansky Nov 11 '15 at 20:20
  • @YoavVollansky: yes I believe so. – Siyi Deng Nov 11 '15 at 22:35
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Although Siyi Deng has already answered it correctly, I'm just making it more clear, hope u understand, :)

In this case:

Even if = 就算 the world = 世界

became / enemy / with / me 为 / 敌 / 与 / 我

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世界与我为敌 here means "the world and me are hostile". 敌 is not a noun here, in fact it's an adjective in my opinion, 敌对的 in Chinese.

If the phrase is "世界我为敌", then the 敌 would be a noun means enemy.

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