In a document about 边缘性人格障碍 (biānyuán xìng réngé zhàng'ài) = "Borderline Personality Disorder", we have the following sentence:

Bìngzhēng zài chéngnián zǎoqí jí yǐ xiǎnlù, dàn suí niánlíng zēngzhǎng qū yú huǎnhé huò wěndìng.

I translate this to:

Symptoms become visible at early adulthood, but with age they have an increasing tendency to alleviate or stabilize.

I think it's a reasonably accurate translation. (Google Translate gives a translation that's much the same: "Symptoms are revealed early in adulthood, but tend to ease or stabilize with age.")

What I'm confused about is the use of

Neither of these makes sense to me in this context.

Question: What do 即 and 已 do in the sentence 病征在成年早期即已显露?

There's a few examples of 即已 used together on YouDao, but I don't see how they help.

  • 即已=已经 iciba:自儿童时起即已开始有严格的课程设置.early舒伯特的技巧在他十分年轻时即已达到了顶峰.while quite young 这个问题归根到底是一种挑战,这种挑战自从有了国际关系即已存在"as old as",
    – user6065
    Apr 29, 2018 at 1:26
  • 即 also carries a meaning of causation or strong correlation.
    – Henry Chan
    May 6, 2018 at 12:42

3 Answers 3


即 in this context means 即刻: "immediately; at once; instantly"

已 = already; had

即已 = had immediately

即已显露= had immediately shown


就 can also means "immediately"

  • 黎明[]起 = Wake up [as soon as] dawn arrives

  • 黎明[]起床 = wake up [as soon as] dawn arrives



即 here means 就. It means this sense:

enter image description here

So, 病征在成年早期即已显露 is equal to say 病征在成年早期就已显露.

  • 成年早期即已显露= it appeared as soon as 成年早期 arrived; 成年早期就已显露 = it already appeared as early as 成年早期
    – Tang Ho
    Apr 29, 2018 at 4:28
  • People should read this discussion on the many meanings of 就 here cantonese.sheik.co.uk/phorum/read.php?7,138618,page=1
    – Tang Ho
    Apr 29, 2018 at 8:46

即已 = 就已经

Symptoms are already apparent in early adulthood
but with age tend to moderate or stabilize.

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