In the following sentence:

三十年前,邓小平所以推动改革开放,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。

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 '17 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 '17 at 18:03
  • @user6065 You obviously have the answer...Why you prefer comments than adding an answer. – Kevman Oct 18 '17 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 '17 at 18:17
up vote 1 down vote accepted

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.

Example:

"(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

  • Thanks. Is it not correct to say 之所以他辞职? – Blaszard Oct 18 '17 at 19:46
  • 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 '17 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.

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