I'm trying to translate a phrase in English:

Trust must be earned.

A direct translation would look like this:


However, the verb 赚 doesn't seem suitable in this context.

What may be a more suitable word? Specifically, a word that means "earn" but without the "work for money" connotation?

  • 1
    赚 is perfectly OK here.
    – Stan
    Commented Jul 16, 2013 at 8:22
  • @Stan, doesn't 赚 sounds a bit odd in this sentence?
    – Pacerier
    Commented Jul 16, 2013 at 9:59
  • 1
    No, it doesn't sound odd at all :) I've checked via Google that many serious writers use this verb 赚(取) for 信任. It's grammatically and conversationally and formally perfect.
    – Stan
    Commented Jul 16, 2013 at 10:11

2 Answers 2


There are a few substitutes I can think of:

  • 信任是要靠努力得来的 (trust is obtained through hard work)
  • 信任是要争取的 (trust must be fought for)
  • 信任是要赢得的 (trust must be won)
  • 信任是要经营的 (trust needs to be maintained)
  • 信任是要用时间去积累的 (trust is acquired over a period of time)

If you are looking for a word, I think 争取[zhēngqǔ] is a good replacement for because it means to put in effort to achieve a goal and has no monetary connotation in it:

争夺;力求获得; 力求实现

  • +1 for good summary. But I think 赚 has been already a very good translation in that sentence -- it meaningfully suggests these impressions: 努力, 经营 and 积累. So it would be easy to strike a sympathetic chord of a reader.
    – Stan
    Commented Jul 16, 2013 at 9:45

I don't know the exactly meaning of "Trust must be earned", but "信任是要赚来的" doesn't sound like native Chinese.

"要" has some kind of "will", which hasn't been done, but "赚来的" is for something already earned.

So "信任是要去赚的" or "信任是赚来的" may be more appropriate based on your original meaning.

Chinese don't have obvious tense, but there's still difference.

By the way, as the answer above says, "赚" is OK here, and you can also use "赢得" to get rid of "钱".

I am a Chinese and my English may be not good enough to express myself clearly.

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