What is the meaning and function of 以 in the following?


According to an online dictionary, 以 as a preposition has the following senses:


1 因為、由於。《論語.衛靈公》:「君子不以言舉人,不以人廢言。」《韓非子.喻老》:「千丈之隄,以蟻螻之穴潰。」

2 按、依。《孟子.梁惠王上》:「斧斤以時入山林,材木不可勝用也。」《商君書.更法》:「禮法以時而定,制令各順其宜。」

3 在、於。《左傳.桓公二年》:「其弟以千畝之戰生,命之曰成師。」唐.柳宗元〈斷刑論〉:「賞以春夏而刑以秋冬。」

4 加在前、後、左、右、上、下、往、來、東、西、南、北等字之前,表時空和方位的界限。如:「自古以來」、「長安東路以西」、「價格在一千元以上」。

5 連及。《易經.小畜.九五》:「有孚攣如,富以其鄰。」《論語.堯曰》:「朕躬有罪,無以萬方。」

None seems relevant.

  • 1
    Your question would be greatly improved with some sort of homework, i.e.: What did you do to look up the meaning of 以? Why didn't that help? What are you still stuck on? Why are you struggling with it? Otherwise it is like we're doing your homework for you and that isn't conducive to learning.
    – Mou某
    Mar 12 '19 at 6:13

以 functions as 'with' here

子路 (a student of Confucius)

人告之 - people inform him

以 - with (the information of)

有过 - (he had) made mistake,

则喜 - be happy (when they do)

When people pointed out 子路's mistakes, he would feel happy (we can presume he was happy to hear about his mistake so that he can make amends)

"闻过则喜" (happy when hear one's own mistake) is a sign of a wise and moral man

In real life, most people would 闻过则怒 (get angry when he was told he made mistake)

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