I'm unsure whether the 中 in this phrase is to be in the first or fourth tone:


Also, what exactly does 方 mean in this saying?

Thank you, Rachel

  • 2
    中zhong1(from meaning derived from context) see jukuu: 1. "If you wish to be the best man, you must be prepared to suffer the Bitterest of the Bitter" 吃得苦中苦,方为人上人 -- 来源 -- 英汉 - 翻译样例 - 习语 好评(10) 差评(0) 2. Hardship increases stature 吃得苦中苦方为人上人, for possible meanings of 方 see dictionaries and above translations
    – user6065
    Apr 20, 2016 at 21:38
  • 1
    方:始:(to begin; to start; then; only then),details at chengyu.xpcha.com/b57n61ckxal.html
    – user6065
    Apr 21, 2016 at 5:04

2 Answers 2


it's zhōng, according to 國語辭典:


in cantonese, it jung1 (sydney lay scheme)


sound file: http://humanum.arts.cuhk.edu.hk/Lexis/lexi-mf/sound/zung1.Mp3

方者﹒才也﹒始也; roughly "only then"

have fun :)


First tone, when you use it to mean 'middle', 'middle of', 'centre'.

When it is pronounced in the fourth tone, it typically means "got it". For example, when you check your lottery ticket and you've won.

I double checked with this Source and it looks like I got it. Here are more specifics:

拼音: zhong (first tone)
注音: ㄓㄨㄥ
center; middle
in; inside; among
in between
average, mean, or middle (class, grade, etc.)
in the course of
fit for

拼音: zhong (4th tone)
注音: ㄓㄨㄥˋ
to hit (a target)
to suffer; to sustain

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