I was just looking at 吾, found in 语 so I looked for some example sentences in iciba.com and found this. I guess it's correct, but it is a bit cryptic, so I'd like to check, probably from an old book or such.

Maybe a literal translation: 莫吾知也夫! no I knows also this (I)

莫吾知也夫! Alas, no one understands me! (iciba)
莫: there is no one
吾: I,we
知: know
也: also
夫: this (person?), me

because given the English translation, I would write something different, perhaps:


1 Answer 1


Unfortunately your interpretation is not quite correct.

This sentence is in ancient Chinese. 也 means nothing but to indicate the end of a phrase or sentence, and 夫 here indicates an exclamation. There were originally no punctuations in an ancient Chinese article, and these are just like punctuations. Using more than one such word (也夫) indicates stronger exclamation.

莫: no one, 吾: me, 知: understand, 也夫: exclamation, may be translated 'Alas!'

So putting together,

Alas, no one understands me!



  • Thanks! I wanted to check because I thought it is probably an ancient kind of Chinese. So 也夫 is just ! or maybe !! 哈哈!
    – Gangosa
    Nov 5, 2016 at 5:38

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