What does 之为 mean in the following sentence?
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[人生] (life) is the main object.
[比] short for [比喻] (metaphorize). It is the verb.
[之] (it) functions as an objective pronoun. In this case, the object is '人生'
[为] (as being) is the auxiliary verb.
[杠杆] (lever) is the relative object, which is the 'metaphor' for ' '人生'
'之为' means 'it as being' here.
"把人生比之为杠杆" = "Take life and metaphorize it as being a lever."
*Depend on the object, '之' can represent any objective pronoun (that, him, her them, it)
"把日本視之为敵人" = "Take Japan and see it as being an enemy"
*You can omit the objective pronoun '之' in these sentence:
'把人生比为杠杆' ; '把日本視为敵人'
*You can omit 'being' in these sentence:
'metaphorize life as a 'lever' ; 'see Japan as an enemy'
？？？This question is on more promoted to the top, but I do not agree with the existing answers.
This is a typical syntax error...
人生 is the object, 比 is the predicate. 把 reverses their order.
If we add 之, we have a redundant object. So it is incorrect.
In fact the whole sentence is grammarly incorrect, written by some low-educated person...
The metaphor is unresonable, the subject is missed and the syntax is erroneous.