I have read that 者 can be used as "... one who ...", for example

I met a X, one who is a Y.

Is that right? If yes, what would be the translation of "I met a X, one who is a Y"?


3 Answers 3


英文翻譯: that which; he who; those who


Accordingly he ordered Zi-gong to act as presiding mourner on the occasion, saying to him, 'Bow to those who come because you have a wailing in your house.'

之 in 拜之 is a pronoun which represents 來者.

I think it is usually used in the classical Chinese (文言文).



the person/people who; he who; those who; that which

者 is the literary counterpart of the colloquial "的人" or "的" (pronoun)

The usage of "者" compare to English "he who" , "those who"

  • English: [pronoun] + [who (used to introduce a clause giving further information about a person or people previously mentioned.)] + [descriptive clause]

  • Chinese: [descriptive clause] + [ pronoun] (used to indicate the clause before it is a description of the pronoun '者')


  • English: [those] + [who] + [borrowed money from Mr.K (descriptive clause)]

  • Literary Chinese: [向 Mr.K借钱 (descriptive clause)] + []

  • Colloquial Chinese: [向 Mr.K借钱 (descriptive clause)] + [的人]

者 is also a common component that turn nouns or verbs into compound word nouns


作 = create; 作者 = author

記 = to record; 記者 = reporter

死 = dead; 死者 = the deceased

學 = to learn; 學者 = scholar

弱 = weak; 弱者 = weakling

侍 = to serve; 侍者 = waiter

讀 = read; 讀者 = reader


That is classical Chinese.

Some examples:

师者, 传道授业解惑也---韩愈. This is a famous quote, frequently used when people talk about teachers and students.


A teacher, [is a person] who passes down the Dao, imparts professional knowledge and resolves doubt.

I found that translation in this doc:

Similar usage:

窃谓夫为将:能去能就,能柔能刚;能进能退,能弱能强。 -- 诸葛亮

为将不通天文、不懂地理、不晓阴阳、不知奇门遁甲及阵图兵势,乃庸才也 -- 诸葛亮


Sometimes people want to use it intentionally to make the sentence sounds special.

楼主者, 发贴首也.

OP is the person who post the first message in a threads.

为球员者, 当以团队第一.

The one who as football player should treat the team first.

  • In 「师者,传道授业解惑也」, 者 usage is different from the three sentences below. Here 者 and 也 comprise 者…也 「判断」usage. Mar 10, 2019 at 15:00
  • I don't know the difference.
    – sfy
    Mar 10, 2019 at 16:06
  • Which means here 者 functions as a pause. It would be ok as 师,传道授业解惑者也 or 师,传道授业解惑也 Mar 10, 2019 at 17:00

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