I think the form is the same with '份' in '看在A的份上, B...' which had been asked before.

However, I'm not sure 'for one's sake', which is the preferable answer for '份', is the appropriate word to describe '面'.

For example: '看在你妈妈的面上,我就不为难你'. In this case, I assumed the speaker has a kind of grateful feeling towards the mother and thus wouldn't make things difficult for the child.

Is there any english word to describe it more precisely than 'for one's sake'?

4 Answers 4


There are multiple ways to translate 看在xxx的面子. As a rule of thumb, in order to make a appropriate translation, you should understand the underlying reason why they would "make way" with due regard to somebody else. It can be because:

  1. the person has certain credits, which were accumulated by all the good things he had done previously.

  2. the person is respected/esteemed because of his position, fame, age, seniority and etc.

  3. they don't want the person loses face or they try to save face for the person, because they have built a very good relationship, such as friendship, relatives and etc..

Your sentence '看在你妈妈的面上,我就不为难你(了)', without additional context, can be interpreted as:

  1. Considering/Given the credit of your mother/what those good things your mother have done, I will let you go (this time). // Your mother has credits.

  2. Out of respect for your mother, I will let you go (this time). // I respect your mother because of her age, position, fame, and etc. (most likely the reason without more context)

  3. In order to retain your mother's dignity, I will let you go (this time). // I try to save face for your mother or retain her dignity.

In summary, the interpretation could be various according to the underlying reason given by certain context.

Hope this can help.


'看在A的面上, B...' is better be translated as " Out of respect to A, B..."

Example: "看在你妈妈的面上,我就不为难你" - " Out of respect to your mother, I'll let you off the hook'


As for '看在A的份上, B...', I would translate it as

"For A's sake, B..."


"With consideration for A, B..."


"看在你妈妈的份上,我就不为难你" - "For your mother's sake, I'll let you off the hook"


"看在你妈妈的份上,我就不为难你" - "With consideration for your mother, I'll let you off the hook"


面 is 面子, a concept doesn't exits in English, so the best way is to translate it case by case.


sounds like 'To show respect to your mother's feeling, I wouldn't go hard with you'


is still just sake here.

Here’s Pleco’s PLC’s entry for 面:

8 face; feelings

看在我的面上, 饶了他这一回吧。
Kàn zài wǒ de miàn shàng, ráo le tā zhè yī huí ba.
Please let him off this time for my sake.

So the stenece you give: 看在你妈妈的面上,我就不为难你 would just be something like: for your mother’s sake, I’ll let you off the hook.

  • 'for someone's sake' means 'for someone's well being or benefit' , therefore "for your mother's sake, I will let you off the hook" doesn't mean I let you off the hook for respecting your mother but for her well being (not hurting her feeling)
    – Tang Ho
    Commented Jul 28, 2018 at 1:22
  • google.com/… 2. out of consideration for or in order to help or please someone. "I have to make an effort for John's sake"
    – Mou某
    Commented Jul 28, 2018 at 1:31
  • I was talking about 'for someone's sake' (看在 someone 的份上) isn't the same as "Out of respect of someone" (看在 someone 的面上)
    – Tang Ho
    Commented Jul 28, 2018 at 1:51
  • @TangHo The English doesn't change much tbh
    – Mou某
    Commented Jul 28, 2018 at 2:01
  • @ user3306356 You can't replace '份上' with '面上' in the following sentence: "看在我們二十年婚姻份上, 你別走好嗎?"
    – Tang Ho
    Commented Jul 28, 2018 at 6:23

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