I have a sentence that I can't quite grasp the meaning of. The sentence is:

他虽然并不聪明, 可是很努力。

It's an example from a Mandarin Chinese textbook I'm using, teaching the usages of 虽然 ~ 可/但(是).

I ran the sentence through a translator and it means "Although he is not smart, he works very hard." My question is, what does the 并 mean here?

My understanding is that if it's used as a verb it means "to combine" and if used as an adverb it means "also, simultaneously, etc."

Also, would the sentence

他虽然不是聪明, 可是很努力。

be equivalent to the one above? The second sentence makes more sense to me intuitively.

  • 1
    他虽然不是聪明, 可是很努力。: sounds wired. try removing 是
    – fefe
    Apr 22, 2019 at 5:53
  • 1
    see previous question with answer by same author What does “他并没有来北京” means? What does 并没有 refers to?
    – user6065
    Apr 22, 2019 at 6:08
  • 1
    他虽然并不聪明, 可是很努力 doesn't sound really good. I prefer 他虽然不聪明, 可是很努力.
    – dan
    Apr 22, 2019 at 11:00

2 Answers 2


並/并 http://www.cantonese.sheik.co.uk/dictionary/characters/844/

[3] [adv] (used before a negative for emphasis) actually; definitely; really


他虽然(not)聪明, 可是很努力。

他虽然并不(actually not)聪明, 可是很努力。

Other example of 并 as an adverb before a 'negative':

無(doesn't have) --> 并無 (actually doesn't have)

未(have not/ not yet)--> 并未 (actually have not/ actually not yet)

沒 (doesn't have/ did not)--> 并沒 (actually doesn't have/ actually did not)

並 in '並有'(also have) or '並已'(had also) means 'also' since 有 and 已 are not negative

'並' 不一定 等於 '並且' ('並' does not always equal 'and also')

'並' 并不一定 等於 '並且' ('並' actually does not always equal 'and also')


并 (at negations) = (not) at all

他虽然不聪明, 可是很努力。
Although he's not clever at all, he's very diligent.

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