In the following sentence:


I found that 邓小平 is a name for a person. But I don't understand what 之 works for here. So what is the meaning of it and how does it function here grammatically?

Also, is it required to use 之 here, or if you omit it, does the sentence change into a different meaning?

  • 1
    (see dictionaries) 之所以 the reason why 之 III (1) 的 [of]。"the reason why DXP has promoted reform and openness to the outside world"
    – user6065
    Oct 18, 2017 at 17:59
  • @user6065 Actually I don't understand most of your comments to my question... What is III, (1), , and [of]? At least I've found out now that 之所以 is an idiom here, which I didn't know.
    – Blaszard
    Oct 18, 2017 at 18:03
  • @user6065 You obviously have the answer...Why you prefer comments than adding an answer.
    – Kevman
    Oct 18, 2017 at 18:05
  • answering comment #2: "III (1) 的 [of]" is copied from bkrs' (dictionary) entry for 之(small part of long entry)
    – user6065
    Oct 18, 2017 at 18:17

2 Answers 2


所以 means 'because' but it can also be used as a noun for "reason" , as in "不明所以" (don't understand the reason)

邓小平 is a noun, 之=(的), 所以=reason

邓小平(之)所以 = Deng Xiaoping('s) reason (for)

  • 推动改革开放 (promote reform and opening up) is the action that the reason resulted in.

  • 一来是为了提高人民的生活水平,二来是为了让中国经济从计划经济转变到市场经济。 is the description of the reasons

'之所以' is a common phrase for 'the reason why'; 'therefore' because it is so commonly used in literary form.


"(The reason why) he resigns" = "他(之所以)辭職"

"(The reason why) he ran away" = "他(之所以)逃跑"

The two examples above must be followed by the description of the reason

  • 1
    Subject always precede 之所以 in Chinese; The opposite is true in English.他(之所以)辞职 = (The reason why) he resigns
    – Tang Ho
    Oct 18, 2017 at 20:10

In structure 之所以……(结果:result)是因为……(原因: reason), 之 is used as a conjunction, indicating 因果关系.

Compare the two structures:

  1. 之所以……(结果: result)是因为……(原因: reason)

  2. 因为……(原因: reason)所以……(结果: result)

Structure 1 states the result first, while structure 2 states reason first. There could be some literary effects for this:

  1. when there are more than one reason for the result, structure 1 is often used. This is like OP's example.

  2. the context determines whether structure 1 or 2 should be used.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.