This is a quote by Bao Yibo. I understand the meaning of the quote, but the '之为' constrution is kind of throwing me off:


How would I translate this construction?

Many thanks.

  • 如果把人生比之为杠杆,之 pronoun referring back to 人生life (one’s time on earth), 为 for "to", "if (human) life is compared/likened to a lever", also note 支点 pivot point; support; supporting point; fulcrum,for more examples enter 之为 into jukuu, examples 1-89 will be relevant, – user6065 Jun 3 '17 at 21:09
  • Rachel, you asked this before here Need a second opinion, or just going batty with too much Chinese? :) – Pedroski Jun 3 '17 at 21:37
  • In previous question chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/21297/… 之为 has different meaning, for present case note "汉语水平考试词典":之[义3]代替人或事物(限于做宾语)(used as an object, used in many 成语):安~ 若素|操~过急|持~以恒|付~一笑|求~不得|取~不尽|束~高阁|逃~夭夭|置~不理|置~度外|不了了~|等闲视~|敬而远~|取而代~|泰然处~|总而言~|以前的秘书小姐被辞退了,取而代~是位中年妇女 – user6065 Jun 3 '17 at 22:52
  • users may wonder whether 之 is superfluous, note use of verb 比 with fronted object and w/o 之:jukuu: 人生常比为蜡烛。On the other hand note more examples with 把: 把...归之于 (之 refers back to ...) 她把自己的成功归之于勤奋。她也不能把这种行为归之任何的误会或误解。cf. redundant object pronouns in Spanish elearnspanishlanguage.com/grammar/pronouns/… – user6065 Jun 4 '17 at 2:23
  • 4
    Possible duplicate of How to translate 之为 into English? – Mo. Jun 4 '17 at 2:54

[比] - [] - [] - [杠杆]

[compare(v)] - [it(pronoun)] - [as(adverb)] - [lever(object-noun)]

之 here follows the verb 比. It functions as a pronoun for the indirect object 人生.

为 here functions as an adverb for the verb 比. [比为] = [compare as]

[教师] - [] - [] - [教]

[teacher(n)] - ['s(possessive particle)] - [preform(auxiliary verb)] - [teaching(v)]

为 (being) here is an auxiliary verb for the main verb 教

之 here follows the subject noun 教师 , it is a possessive particle that indicate 教师 possess the clause 为教

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