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In the following sentence:

Rossum创造的Python语言自1991年发布以来已演变为程序员强大灵活易于学习的“瑞士军刀”

The meaning of 而且 is generally "but also", and used as the compound. But in this case, they are separated and used in the form of A而B且C.

In this case, does it mean "A and B and C", and thus the sentence mean the following?:

The Python language, which was created by Rossum in 1991, since evolved for developers into "Swiss knife" that is powerful, flexible, and easy to learn.

At least it seems that 且 can mean "both A and B" with 既, in the form of 既A且B. But in this case it is in the form of A而B且C.

Or does the A而B且C mean something others?

  • the pair A,B which are of same type (disyllabic adjectives) is connected by the conjunction 而, which is connected to C of another type (adverb + verb) by another conjunction, 且 – user6065 Feb 28 '18 at 6:08
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In your example I'd prefer to dismantle 强大而灵活且易于学习 as:

强大而灵活 且 易于学习

Yes this means 强大 AND 灵活 AND 易于学习, but I think you shouldn't regard 而..且.. as a fixed collocation like 既..且.., because the 而 in this sentence is used as a usual way to connect two adjectives/adverbs. For example you can say 新鲜而美味的水果 (fresh and delicious fruits).

  • Thanks and I feel this is the most reasonable decomposition (and jibes with the comment to my post). – Blaszard Mar 1 '18 at 13:51
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"A而B且C" means A and B and C. We use "A而B且C" instead of "A且B且C" simply due to the reason that we do not want to use the same word twice in the phrase.

"既","且",“而” can all mean "and", while sometimes, the word "而" can means "but" (when "而" is used alone to link two sentences). One thing for sure is that in the form of "既A且B" and "A而B且C", they all mean "and".

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Some common ways of connecting two modifiers are:

A而B = 即A又B = 又A又B = 不仅A而且B

However, Chinese language loves the number three, so if you want to supplement a 3rd modifier, here are what you can do:

A而B且C = 即A又B又C = 又A又B又C = 不仅A而且B还很C

Moreover, if you want to describe something with more than 3 modifiers, the common way in Chinese is, first we make sure there are even numbers of adjectives/adverbs, and then group them by 2, and then follow a pattern of either 对偶(two groups) or 排比(three groups or more).

Python语言强大而灵活,简洁而直白,通俗而易懂,是一门值得初学者好好学习的编程语言。

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If somebody says "你很 A而B且C ",he means you are too "ABC" (American-born Chinese). It is very negative these days.

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