In the following sentence:


What does 也 mean in the sentence? The entire sentence should mean something like the following:

Because of the fear that wearing one more pants behind the trousers make you look fat, so many people rather want to...

I don't understand the last part of the sentence, especially on the 也 part.

According no Pleco, 也 has the following entry (as an adverb):

[for emphasis, often before a negative expression]

  • 她一天假也没请过。

But then how does it connect 冻死 and 不穿 and what does the sentence mean?

Also, is my understanding that 也 here works as an emphasis correct?

  • I think it's a bit like "still" Commented Dec 11, 2017 at 0:55
  • 宁愿A也不B structure means prefer A to B or would rather A than B
    – xenophōn
    Commented Jun 14, 2018 at 9:30

5 Answers 5


In this sentence should not be understood individually.In Chinese 宁愿...也... is a coordinating conjunction. It means a choose relationship. You choose the option behind 宁愿 and you give up the option behind .

I think it seems like rather...than... in English.宁愿冻死也不穿 may be translated to rather be dead than be wearing the long underwear.

More examples about 宁愿...也...could be see in here;
And More examples about coordinating conjunction in Chinese could be see in here

  • Perfect! Thanks for the answer. It seems that often the phrase after 也 comes with 不 on 不愿.
    – Blaszard
    Commented Dec 11, 2017 at 11:16
  • @Blaszard Thanks for being accepted and I'm glad to know that you seek out the regularity.
    – Jian
    Commented Dec 12, 2017 at 9:55

Refer to the definition 3 in this dictionary:

  1. 在复句中表转折意:虽然你不说,我~能猜个八九不离十。

也 is used as the adverbial of concession, like the English word although. 也 follows the result or conclusion.

  • actually, I think it is just 'and'
    – Pedroski
    Commented Dec 12, 2017 at 3:57

If it makes it easier to remember, you can relate this usage to the more common gloss of 'also': "[in situations where] people are freezing to death, they'd also prefer not to wear [them].

Or in more natural English: "... won't wear them even if they're freezing to death."


It could be better understood as "still" here in our context.

Even if I get frozen, I "still" would not wear it.


Edit: in the cold light of morning:

I agree with Jian: 宁愿 A 也不愿B: would rather A than B

Literally: 宁愿A也不愿B would want A and not want B

A lot of people
because they are afraid of appearing fat if they wear long-johns,
would rather freeze to death than wear them.

(I prefer fat-looking but warm!)

  • It is 宁愿...也不... not 宁愿...也...
    – xenophōn
    Commented Dec 11, 2017 at 11:45
  • Correct, I slipped up there, must be the cold!
    – Pedroski
    Commented Dec 12, 2017 at 0:06
  • 其实, 是不是这样的: "宁愿A也不愿B" 愿 = 希望??
    – Pedroski
    Commented Dec 12, 2017 at 0:17
  • 愿 means 愿意, or 想要, to wish, to want, willing (to do sth), like the lyrics in the song 童话 fairy tale: 我愿变成童话里你要的那个天使 means I wish to be the angel you need in fairy tale.
    – xenophōn
    Commented Dec 12, 2017 at 1:53

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