The phrase often appears in english-chinese translation.

For example:

If you want to become a better photographer, the only way is through repetition.

The third way is through free and conscious decision

The english version is correct, but I think the Chinese version is wrong grammatically. Because 通过xxx is a 介宾结构, 介宾结构 can't be used as 主语. I also don't think it can be used as 宾语.

For me, the tranlate version is acceptable, but I am not sure if it's correct. Still, I don't know how to search it quickly online, when I search it, I always find English grammar. Plz show me authoritative books or other resourses or common grammar rules not a simple yes or no.

In addition, If the answer is not, how to translate that.

2 Answers 2


'through' implies 'going through' and 通过 is the correct translation for it. There's nothing wrong with the first sentence

When you 'going through' something to get somewhere, that something must have a length for you to go through (you have to spend a period of time)

  • 通过反复练习 (through repetition) sounds right because 'repetition' requests a considerable length of time

  • 通过自由、有意识的决定 (through free and conscious decision) doesn't sound right because 决定 (decision) happens in an instant.

The more reasonable sentence would be:

The third way is through free and conscious consideration


通过考虑 (through consideration)


The third way is to trust free and conscious decisions


信赖一个决定 (trust a decision)

  • 方法是一个名词,"通过xxx"能作为名词用吗
    – Voyager
    Commented Mar 19, 2019 at 11:13
  • 通过 is a verb, 通过XXX is a verb phrase; "方法就是通过XXX" = "the method is to go through (the procedure of) XXX"
    – Tang Ho
    Commented Mar 19, 2019 at 11:17
  • 通过XXX的方法 = through the method of XXX; "通过XXX的" is an adjectival phrase for 方法
    – Tang Ho
    Commented Mar 19, 2019 at 11:19
  • 通过here is prep.,介词短语为什么能作名词用
    – Voyager
    Commented Mar 19, 2019 at 11:20
  • 通过 is used as a verb mostly, but in this context, you are right, it is preposition for the noun XXX and XXX here is "自由、有意识的考虑" and 考虑 is a noun here
    – Tang Ho
    Commented Mar 19, 2019 at 11:27

就是 can be followed by any single word,noun,verb,adjective,adverb,etc. or a phrase,NP,VP,PP (preposition phrase) etc. in the present case 通过自由、有意识的决定 may be considered a PP, see examples for 就是 in online dictionaries, e.g. bkrs 就是(emphasizes that sth is precisely or exactly as stated),examples for 就是 with typical preposition 在。。。:http://www.iciba.com/%E5%B0%B1%E6%98%AF%E5%9C%A8

re 通过 bkrs has 通过 II cov. by (means/way of); through, "cov." google: A coverb is a word or prefix that resembles a verb or co-operates with a verb. In languages that have the serial verb construction, coverbs are a type of word that shares features of verbs and prepositions,

examples for 就是通过 http://www.iciba.com/%E5%B0%B1%E6%98%AF%E9%80%9A%E8%BF%87 就是在

  • I don't think there are any diff between 就是 and 是 in grammar. In your latter examples, 通过xxx 是状语
    – Voyager
    Commented Mar 19, 2019 at 13:37
  • example phrase 1: ...首要职责就是通过...,phrase 2:...方法就是通过... structure: NP就是通过。。。。seems to be same as above
    – user6065
    Commented Mar 19, 2019 at 13:46
  • 政府的首要职责(就)是(通过抑制通货膨胀来)保持货币稳定。 In my example, the sentence structure is different.
    – Voyager
    Commented Mar 19, 2019 at 13:54

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