Just realized that the 还不 part of speech in phrases such as "还不是因为爱", "还不都怪你" is quite tricky. How do you translate it into English?

  • I think I'm even more confused after studying all the answers... o_O Dec 18, 2011 at 17:10
  • 1
    It's nothing but love.
    – Kabie
    Dec 18, 2011 at 20:13

5 Answers 5


It's translated as “actually", "really", "just"; it is used to show your emphasis. It's a very tricky expression because it has no negative meaning, while it has a negative look (不).You usually use this word in a sentence as a response to show your disagreement with the speaker.

You and your friends go hiking in a big mountain, and you get lost. Fortunately, you have a GPS device, and it helps you get out of the adversity. When you are safe, one of your friends says, "Thank goodness!". You would say,

这还不是因为我带了GPS导航仪。= It is really because I took the GPS navigator along.

Here, You imply that he should thank you!Not thank goodness!.

And another one would say

还不是我叫你带上的。=It's I who asks you to take it along.

Now,he wants everyone to know that they should thank him :)

还不是因为爱。= (It is) really because of love.

I also want to show you the negative form of this expression, you would say:

这还真不是因为爱。= This is really not because of love.

  • This is wrong comparison. 还真不 != 还不.
    – StarCub
    Dec 18, 2011 at 0:32
  • I kind of "heavily" edited your answer correcting wording and changing the formatting. I think I didn't change anything regarding the meaning, but just check it to be sure. :)
    – Alenanno
    Dec 18, 2011 at 0:32
  • @Alenanno I noticed you changed my answer too. Mostly just re-formatting. Is there a standard way to present translations when English & Chinese sentences side by side? Or is it just personal preference?
    – StarCub
    Dec 18, 2011 at 0:38
  • @StarCub I don't think so, but I think translations on the side are better readable than translations under the original sentence. It's just a matter of "visual order". Of course people can rollback, though. :)
    – Alenanno
    Dec 18, 2011 at 0:58
  • @StarCub I think you mean "not equal to" by "!=", so what's the problem? I said “还真不" was the negative form of “还不"
    – Huang
    Dec 18, 2011 at 1:50

I think 还不=还不是,it might be translated into 'it's all'. Because in Chinese you could express the same meaning with “全都是。。。”.

还不是因为爱 = 全都是因为爱 = It's all because of love

还不(是)都怪你 = 全都(是)怪你 = It's all your bad


I think StarCub has a good answer.

With an example of a person explaining why or why not he is inclined to help another person, I'd possibly translate it as

还不是因为爱 = If it wasn't for love...(I wouldn't help you)

Example meaning: I will help you, because I love you

还不都怪你 = If it wasn't all your fault...(I'd feel more inclined to help you)

Example meaning: I would help you, if only you weren't solely responsible


Although it's not quite, you can think 还不 as double negation. The character 还 contains a 不 too. :)

I would translate 还不 as "isn't it". For example:

还不是因为爱 = Isn't it because of love.

还不都怪你 = Isn't it because of you to blame.

  • 1
    Just note that this is simply a mnemonic device as the traditional character (還) does not contain the 不 element nor any other elements that connote negation. I suspect the 不 element in the simplified character is merely a phonetic component.
    – Bjorn
    Dec 21, 2011 at 19:29
  • I like this structure a bit better than "It's all/really because of love" because one usually says this phrase with a sort of half-questioning tone, rather than a flat declarative tone.
    – weiy
    Dec 21, 2011 at 20:04

还不是 can be translated to English literally as isn't.
Actually, sometimes we can add a 吗 to the end of that sentence without changing its meaning like “还不是因为爱吗?”.
So the answer is obvious,
还不是因为爱 means “isn't it because of love?” or "it is because of love, isn't it?"
In the same way, ‘还不都怪你?’ can be translated as "It's your fault, isn't it?"

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