In this sentence:


I feel the sentence means something like the following:

People often ask "How many eggs should people eat a day?", but actually it doesn't have a fixed answer. The answer must be analyzed by each person's eating habits.

Regarding the last sentence:


I feel the verb here is 来 (or maybe 要 or 分析...?). But I don't understand how it functions grammatically here and hence what it means. Is this use of 来 something special on the grammatical aspect? Is this what is treated as a dummy verb?

Any link to the explanation of the use of 来 in this case shall be welcomed as well...

  • I think 要根据自己的饮食结构来整体分析 can be reduce to 要分析, and that is basically equal to need analyzing. – Jacob Oct 16 '17 at 19:09
  • @Jacob Then in this case how 来 should function grammatically in this context? – Blaszard Oct 16 '17 at 19:17
  • "来" here do, proceed to, etc. in fact there is no fixed (generally valid) answer to the question, you have (to proceed) to analyze it on the basis of your food consumption – user6065 Oct 16 '17 at 19:29
  • "来分析" go about (proceed to, come around to) analyzing, in other words 来 may be considered a dummy verb (filler), possible alternative 而 instead of 来: 要根据自己的饮食结构而整体分析( 起来) – user6065 Oct 16 '17 at 19:58
  • possible problem with latest answer, 来 between 2 verbs indicates that 2nd activity is purpose of 1st activity, 2 more examples from "现代汉语词典"showing use of 来 to indicate purpose: 他摘了一个荷叶~当伞|你又能用什么理由~说服他呢? However 要 seems to be an auxiliary (modal, 能愿)verb merely modifying main verb 分析 (making such an explanation doubtful) – user6065 Oct 17 '17 at 1:57

This is a great question!

来 here is used like a modal auxiliary in English, to express what one's intention/or going to do with/according to/about/... aforementioned stuff.

For example, 我们要用自己的双手来建设祖国。 (We will build our country with our own hands). Here what our intention or going to do is 建设祖国(build our country), with aforementioned stuff 要用自己的双手.

For the case OP quoted, 要根据自己的饮食结构来整体分析, what our intention or going to do is 整体分析 according to 自己的饮食结构.

Refer to this link for definition 6.

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  • So is it the same as this grammartical point (the same link I posted on TangHo's answer)? – Blaszard Oct 18 '17 at 0:00
  • Yes, but not merely preceding verb phrases, sometimes it could also be prepositional phrases. – dan Oct 18 '17 at 0:15

agreed with Dan's answer, “来“should be a preposition here, its function is to denote an intention / express going to do sth.

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"来" here functions as the preposition "to"


2--(a)used as a function word to indicate purpose, intention, tendency, result, or end

2--(b) used as a function word to indicate the result of an action or a process

The intention of '根据自己的饮食结构' is to '整体分析'

The role of '来' in [根据(...)(...)] is the same as [base on (....)to(...)] in English.


[根据(体重)(分级)] = [base on (weight) to (divide classes)]

[(数目大小)(定胜负)] = [according to (size of of the number) to (decide winner and loser)]

[(重武器)(攻击)] = [use (heavy weapon) to (attack)

In all the examples above, the preposition '来' can be omitted in Chinese

根据体重分级 ; 以数目大小定胜负; 用重武器来攻击

For longer clause like the one in your question, '来' is needed to separate the two clauses [根据(自己的饮食结构)来(整体分析)]

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  • Sorry I don't understand it. So is 来 a verb in the whole sentence? Also, why does 来 work as "to" in this sentence...? – Blaszard Oct 16 '17 at 19:32
  • See my edited answer – Tang Ho Oct 16 '17 at 20:10
  • So since 来 is a preposition here, what is the verb in this sentence? – Blaszard Oct 16 '17 at 23:35
  • "分析" is the main verb ; "根据" is the auxiliary verb. More example: In "use money to buy" , "buy" is the main verb; "use" is the auxiliary verb. – Tang Ho Oct 16 '17 at 23:44
  • In "use money to buy votes", 'money' is the indirect object; 'votes' is the direct object' . The verb 'use' acts on the indirect object 'money' is the auxiliary verb; the verb 'buy' acts on the direct object 'votes' is the main verb. – Tang Ho Oct 16 '17 at 23:55

I don't know what language you normally speak. In German, we have exactly the same usage of ‘来’and '去'. These are the words 'her', pronounced like English 'hair' and 'hin'. They correspond exactly to this kind of use of '来' or '去'. It is therefore very easy for Germans to understand this structure and usage. Maybe you have the same usage in your language.

This '来’is 'from'. Not really a contradiction of Tang Ho. If you think of 2 points, A and B, and something moves from A to B, then, depending on whether the observer is standing at A or B, the thing 'moves from 动来' or 'moves to 动去'. This is 'her' or 'hin', '来' or '去'

People often ask, "How many eggs should a person eat in one day",
actually there is no fixed answer,
one should analyse this question according to one's whole dietary structure.

In Modern English, I would not translate this '来' or it gets too wordy:

one should analyse this question according to and from (=来) the point of view of one's whole dietary structure.

In German, on the other hand, I would translate this '来', because we use 'her' a lot.

man sollte diese Frage von der ganzen Diätstruktur her (von ... her = 来) untersuchen.

Another common example, easy to see that '从 。。。。来' is 'from' and it corresponds neatly with German 'von ... her' (both of which mean 'from' on their own). Chinese uses '在 。。。。中’and many similar structures where English just uses 'in':

试着从我的角度来看这件事。 Try to look at this from my point of view.

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来is a structural auxiliaries , usually be used between two verbs . the former verb is to describe method/attitude/etc. and the latter verb is purpose. back to this sentence, 要(verb){根据自己的饮食结构method}来整体分析(Verb).verb(method)+来+verb(purpose) another example:我能用(Verb)什么办法来帮助(V)你呢

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