I know that 占 means "to occupy/to take up".

But in this following sentence, I can not figure out what it adds to the meaning as a whole:


  1. If I take "zhan" away, would it make any difference? A Chinese friend told me it would, but was not able to explain it exactly.
  2. Can you give me another example in an equivalent sentence-structure on how to use "zhan" in a similar structure?
  3. The constellation of 省着花 is also a little strange to me; to save and spend money in the same construction? I suppose "hua" must have a different meaning here?
  • 3) is nice reasoning.
    – George
    Commented Aug 24, 2013 at 13:08

4 Answers 4


占人口绝大多数的 is a compound adjective for 民众. 人口 means population, noun. 绝大多数的 means most, adjective.

  1. If you take away 占, you got to take away 人口 as well to keep it grammatically sound. If you remove 占 and leave 人口 there, it's like this English sentence, "For the people that most part of population, money should be spent wise." you feel a bit strange because something is missing in between "that" and "most".

  2. That's easy, look at this:

    占全年国内消费水平很大比例的是节假日的消费 (Simplified)

    占全年國內消費水平很大比例的是節假日的消費 (Traditional)

    A very large portion of the national consumption is from that in holiday. (One possible English translation)

  3. As for 省着花, 花 really mean to spend money. 省着, an adverb for 花, means "spend money for those necessary things only". The pattern of "verb + 着", also shown in another post, can be an adverb (as in 省着花) or indicating action in process as in 他正弹着吉他, tā zhèng tán zhe jí ta, "He's playing guitar now."

Need more help? Leave comment :D


This sentence itself is a sick sentence in strictly speaking, translated into English is "for people who occupy most of population". People are made up of only people, they are same thing, so this description is cumbersome and should be directly said "for most people".

The reason why your Chinese friends think removing "占" will change meaning but can't explain is "对占x大多数的/极少数的y来说" is a common fixed expression, but in correct usage, x and y should not be the same thing, the subject in this sentence is y and the rest is modifiers, let me give you two correct examples:

  • "对占地球面积30%的陆地来说,广袤的海洋才是地球真正的主角" "For land which occupy 30 percent area of the earth, the ocean is the real protagonist of the earth."

  • "对占中国人口大多数的汉族来说,保护少数名族同胞是义不容辞的" "For the Han nationality, who make up the majority of China's population, it is incumbent upon them to protect minority compatriots."


占, here, means "occupy; make up, account for".

Some examples, highlighting the quantity being accounted for in both English and Chinese:

Coursework accounts for 40% of the final marks.


These products, in total, account for about 80% of all our sales.


He believes that his supporters are in the majority. (More literally: He believes his supporters account for a majority.)



Never mind 占, forget it, try to rewrite.

This seems a bit taken-out-of-context and topicless.

对占人口绝大多数的民众来说,= 对大多数民众来说,


省着花 = spend sparingly


The majority of people still think
(they) should spend their money sparingly.

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