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I heard that there is a difference between 不由得 and 不得不, but fail to find a relevant page.

At least 不由得 and 由不得 are the synonym, and 不禁 is IIRC practically same.

But is there any difference between 不得不 and 不由得? How can I use it apart?


EDIT

So is the difference on whether the action is executed unconciously? I feel I understand the difference a bit, but could not explain it verbelly.

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  • relevant pages:bkrs: 不由得 can’t help cannot but 不由得|他说得有根有梢的,不由得你不信。 He spoke so convincingly that you couldn't help believing him.大家都这么说,不由得你不信。 Everybody says so, you just have to believe it.#6460 同义(syn): 禁不住, 撑不住, 忍不住, 不禁 不得不 #2396 have no choice but to; be bound to; be obliged to do sth.; cannot but; have to; cannot choose but; can't do better than; can't help but; can't keep from; can not refrain from; compel; force sb. to do sth.; have no option but to: 不得不低头认罪 have to plead guilty 时间有限,我不得不赶紧。 As time is limited, I have to hurry. 我不得不同意你的决定。
    – user6065
    Mar 25 '18 at 18:39
  • I cannot but agree to your decision.: 同义: 只得, 只好, 只能, lists of synonyms for each do not contain the other, various dictionaries for C function words (虚词)(4 in user's possession) do not mention these together (discounting possibility of confusing one with the other)
    – user6065
    Mar 25 '18 at 18:39
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不得不 = no choice but

不由得 = can't help (e.g. myself)

Example:

  • 不得不屈服 no choice but yield

  • 不由得怀疑我的眼睛 can't help doubting my eyes (不由得 can be replaced with 不由自主地 in this example)

At least 不由得 and 由不得 are the synonym

Actually they are two different things

不由得 = can't help (e.g. myself); 由不得 = not up to (e.g. you)

Example:

不由得怀疑 = can't help suspecting (不由得 synonym 不禁)

由不得你作主 = it is not up to you to decide (由不得 synonym 不到)

由不得我选择 = it is not up to me to choose (由不得 synonym 不到)

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  • Thanks and yeah I know 由不得 has another usage, but I just omit it as my question is about the diffirence between 不得不 and 不由得.
    – Blaszard
    Mar 29 '18 at 6:08
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不由得 vs 不得不:

不由得 implies I have no choice and I have to do it even if I don't really want to do it emotionally. Well, 不得不 is usually just have to.

Grammatically, 不由得 can be followed with a full clause{S+V+Object}, while 不得不 is usually followed by a verb phrase{V+object}. For example, 不由得我不相信他,we don't say 不得不我不相信他, instead we say 不得不相信他.

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  • 1
    Thanks but is 不由得 also used in S + 不由得 + V + O structure?
    – Blaszard
    Mar 29 '18 at 6:06
  • Yes, 不由得 can also be used in the structure you quoted
    – dan
    Mar 29 '18 at 9:29
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below find 2 examples of pairs or triples including 不由得,不得不 that are close in meaning

"实用汉语近义虚词词典" 不由得(副)/忍不住(动)[相同] 都表示控制不住。后面的动词是具体行为时,常可互换:

(1)手被开水烫了一下,我不由得叫了起来。(忍不住 ✓)(2)想起家乡的亲人,妈妈不由得流下了眼泪。(忍不住 ✓)(3)说着说着,老李忍不住叹了一口气。(不由得✓)(4)听着,听着,大家忍不住笑了起来。(不由得✓)

[不同]1."忍不住"是因为忍耐不了才控制不住,有一个"忍"的过程:"不由得"是"控制不住",是对某种情况的自然反应,没有"忍"的过程,语义明确时不能互换:

(1)他们一个劲地吵,我忍了半天,还是忍不住说了他们几句。(不由得✗)(2)这孩子哭个不停,我没办法,才忍不住打了他一下。(不由得✗)(3)一阵狂风迎面吹来,我不由得往后退了几步。(忍不住✗)(4)汽车猛地一停,他差点摔倒,不由得叫了一声。(忍不住✗)

2。"忍不住"的后面只能是"哭、笑、说"等具体行为动词;"不由得"的后面可以是具体行为动词,还可以是"着急、难过、高兴"等表示心情的形容词和"想、爱、喜欢"等心理动词:

(1)看他那个样子,大家忍不住笑了起来。(不由得✓)(2)输了比赛,李玉忍不住流下了眼泪。(不由得✓)(3)今天打了好几次电话都找不到玛丽,我心里不由得着急起来。(忍不住✗)(4)看着童年的相片,我不由得想起了过去的日子。(忍不住✗)(5)在一起时间长了,他不由得爱上了这个能干的姑娘。(忍不住✗)

3。"不由得"可放在后一分句主语前边,表示"不能不"的意思;"忍不住"没有这种用法:

(1)怎么找也找不到课本,不由得我不着急。(忍不住✗)(2)等了半天也不见他来,不由得我不担心。(忍不住✗)(3)这个考试非常重要,不由得我们不紧张。(忍不住✗)

4。"忍不住"可以作谓语,不带宾语;"不由得"不能:

(1)我实在忍不住了,跟她大吵了一架。(不由得✗)(2)最后我还是忍不住,大声笑了起来。(不由得✗)

不得不(动)/不能不(动)/不会不(动)[相同] 都是动词性结构,用双重否定来表示肯定,都用在动词性语前作状语。"不能不"有时和"不得不"换用,有时和"不会不"换用。

1。"不能不、不得不"有时可以互换,但意思有不同:"不能不"强调主观上认为不这样不行,一定要这样,相当于"必须、应该";"不得不"强调主观上不愿意,但客观情况要求一定要这样,没有别的选择,相当于"只得、只好":

(1)他叫我去,我不得不去。(不能不 ✓ 不会不✗)(2)在飞机上,不得不关手机。(不能不 ✓ 不会不✗)(3)明天的会议很重要,你不能不参加。(不得不✓不会不✗)(4)他病得很厉害,不能不去医院看病。(不得不✓不会不✗)

2。"不能不、不会不"有时可以呼唤,但意思也有一些不同:"不会不"是根据清理做出的估计、猜测:"不能不"强调主观上认为不这样不行,一定要这样:

(1)你是他的哥哥,不能不帮他。(不会不 ✓不得不✗)(2)他们是我的父母,我不能不管他们。(不会不 ✓不得不✗)(3)我请了他几次,他今天不会不来吧?(不能不 ✓不得不✗)(4)我想,她结婚不会不通知我吧?(不能不 ✓不得不✗)

[不同]1。"不会不"是根据清理做出的估计、猜测,表示情况应该是、很有可能是这样的;明显表示估计猜测时,用"不会不":

(1)你能来,他们不会不高兴。(不能不 ✗不得不✗)(2)这件事都登报了,你父母不会不知道。(不能不 ✗不得不✗)(3)他们曾经是邻居,见了面不会不认识。(不能不 ✗不得不✗)(4)我们考得那么好,老师不会不满意。(不能不 ✗不得不✗)

2。"不得不"强调不愿意、无奈,句子明显有"不愿意、无奈"的意思时,用"不得不":

(1)陈明受伤严重,不得放弃了比赛。(不会不✗不能不✗)(2)为了保住林勇的生命,医生不得不截掉了他的右腿。(不会不✗不能不✗)(3)为了给孩子治病,他不得不卖掉了房子。(不会不✗不能不✗)

3。"不能不"后面可以带表示情感状态的动词,表示自然的进入了某种情感状态;"不得不、不会不"都没有这个用法:

(1)面对这样的场景,谁也不能不感动。(不得不✗不会不✗)(2)就连他这样铁石心肠的人,也不能不同情这个老人。(不得不✗不会不✗)(3)虽然老周脾气很好,但遇到这种情况,也不能不生气了。(不得不✗不会不✗)

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Just image that, a beautiful girl is passing by. You would 不由得地 turn around to see. But you are on class now. And your teacher is yelling you. You 不得不 continue focus on the class.

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