I know that 乎 usually expresses doubt and is sometimes translated using rhetorical questions. But is it always true? I am wondering how should it be translated in such a case: "而有以通乎性命之全". The full sentence is:


For the sake of clarity - the sentence is preceded with another one that contains the following statement: "然体有偏正之殊".

2 Answers 2


is it always true

no. only when 乎 is at the end of a verse, then it might be interpreted as doubt, rhetorical question, or guess.


in the verse


"乎" means 於, a preposition (at, in, from, . . . etc).


i would suggest to interpret the verse as:

only the homo sapiens (惟人也),

get (得) the upright (正) body (形) & vital energy (氣),

therefore (是以), its (其) mind (心) is the most (最) divine; (靈)

and (而) depends on [such upright body and vital energy] (有以), [homo sapiens ] succeed (通) in (乎) the complete (全) life (性命)

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have fun :)


乎者,非唯语气助词之用也,亦作介词,同“于”之义。 试看: 风乎舞雩[在] 叫嚣乎东西,隳突乎南北[从] 吾尝疑乎是[对]

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