According to the following sentence:


The bold sentence starts with 以, and it also has 为. So at first I assumed it is 以~为 pattern, which is "regarding A as B" or "taking A as B" in English.

However, I also found that 为首 means "serve as the head", and it should exactly refer to 安倍. And I understand the meaning then.

So is this sentence 以~为 pattern or not? If not, what does the leading 以 mean and work in this context?

2 Answers 2


Yes, [][安倍的自民党][][首][的联盟] fits the pattern of [with][A] [as] [B]

"首" is short for "首领",

[A - 安倍的自民党] = [B - 首领]

  • '为'+'首(领)' simply means 'as leader' (preposition + noun)

  • '为首' as a set phrase, is a common adjective "leading/ top ranked"


'在这次会议上, 为首官员是北京市长'-- 'In this meeting, the leading (top ranked) officer is Beijing mayor'

  • Actually, my macOS pre-installed dictionary and Pleco both list 为首 as a verb, and mean "serve as the head".
    – Blaszard
    Oct 23, 2017 at 0:51
  • But I just found that in both dictionaries, the example sentences both use 以~为 pattern. 以总统为首的代表团 & 以外交部长为首的代表团
    – Blaszard
    Oct 23, 2017 at 0:52
  • the verb is '以' (use/ take); '为首' is (preposition + noun)
    – Tang Ho
    Oct 23, 2017 at 0:53
  • So in these two example sentences is it not 以~为 pattern?
    – Blaszard
    Oct 23, 2017 at 0:54
  • 以总统为首的代表团 & 以外交部长为首的代表团 are both [ 以 (A ) 为( B)] structure-- [总统 ( A)] = [首领 (B) ]; [外交部长 (A) ] = [首领 (B)]
    – Tang Ho
    Oct 23, 2017 at 1:04

以~为: take...as...

In 为首, 首 means head or leader, while 为 means as.

For example, 以瘦为美:take thin as beauty; 以他为首: take him as leader;

So, 以安倍的自民党为首: take 安倍的自民党 as leader. 以安倍的自民党为首的 is attributive to modify 联盟. 安倍的自民党 is the head.

  • Surely I know the 以~为 phrase. So according to your answer, in this sentence is it not 为首 but just 首 that modifies 自民党?
    – Blaszard
    Oct 23, 2017 at 0:36
  • Also, is it a valid sentence to duplicate 为, such that 以安倍的自民党为为首的?
    – Blaszard
    Oct 23, 2017 at 0:37
  • Or put it in another way, my question is: Is it [ (安倍的自民党) (首)的]联盟 (以~为 modifies 联盟), or is it [(安倍的自民党为首)的]联盟 (安倍的自民党为首 modifies 联盟)?
    – Blaszard
    Oct 23, 2017 at 0:41
  • it should be 【(以 安倍的自民党 为 首)的】联盟. "以安倍的自民党为为首的?" is wrong, and only one 为 is needed. 以安倍的自民党为首的
    – dan
    Oct 23, 2017 at 0:48
  • 自民党 is modified by 安倍 的
    – dan
    Oct 23, 2017 at 0:52

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