I have come across this 还-based sentence structure and don't know what it implies. Here is an example:

中文:有人请你玩儿你还不去? 这样的好事我盼还盼不来呢

英语:Somebody invited you over and you're not going?! Such a good offer, I... wouldn't imagine hoping for?

Not sure what V 还 V 不来呢 means. Also, I'm not sure if 来 belongs to the sentence structure, or if it is a separation of 盼来。 All 还 sentence structures I can find involve 还 V or 还 Adj, not a verb on both sides. Any help would be greatly appreciated!


4 Answers 4


Not sure what V 还 V 不来呢 means

盼 = wish for

还 = still

盼(不来) = wish for (and not successfully get)

盼还盼不来 = wished for, but still not successfully get

  • To understand the role of 来, please read result complement

  • 得 and 不 are the only two potential particles that indicate 'able' or unable'


做 = to do

做到 (verb with result complement) = to do successfully

做得到 (verb with result complement + positive potential particle) = able to do successfully

做不到 (verb with result complement + negative potential particle) = unable to do successfully


盼 = wish for

盼来 = wish for (and get)

盼得来 = wish for (and able to successfully get)

盼不来 = wish for (and unable to successfully get)

  • 还 means "still"

有人 = someone

请你 = invite (and treat) you to

玩儿 = play (to engage in activities that require spending of money)

你 = you

还 = still

不去? = don't go?

  • Ahhh, so it is a rewu
    – Hashamyim
    Commented Apr 23, 2020 at 2:41
  • Oh, got submitted too soon! So it is a result complement - good to know! Now that you explain it, the meaning is crystal clear - thanks for your time, Tang!
    – Hashamyim
    Commented Apr 23, 2020 at 2:42

V 还 V 不来呢 can mean out of someone's mind or out of someone's ability.

"有人" = someone

"請" can translate to invite , which means someone think you are capable to do or you are a great candidate.

Under the respondent assessment(feeling), he does not think this way, or respondent think chance just wont happen on himself.


V+还+V 不来 means that you are unable to get/do what you really want.

还 can be replaced by 都 in this sense. 我盼还盼不来呢=我盼都盼不来呢.

E. g. 我(想)要还要不来呢.


In 盼还盼不来, the important grammatical part is V 不来 wherein 不来 indicates a negative potential complement, and specifically the verb V is unfulfilled. This is one example of many possibilities e.g. 吃不完 or 想不出来 or 站不起来 or 写不下. E.g.:

Why, when I yearn, does no baby come? [approximate translation]

Similarly, in the given example, 盼不来 means what is being hoped for (as determined by the context) is unfulfilled. E.g.:

I yearn [for something determined by context], still my yearning is unfulfilled.

Note that ("still") could be replaced by (as in e.g. 盼也盼不来) or (as in e.g. 盼都盼不来; as dan mentions) without changing the meaning (and similar things happen in other grammar structures). The 呢 in the original sentence basically expresses surprise, and it's not so important (arguably more related to a person's speaking style, and dependent on context).

I don't think V 还 V 不来 can be considered a specific grammar structure. Negative potential complements can arise in a lot of ways:

[I] dance, [but] still don't beat this show-off.

Why do some people eat dumplings everyday, [but] still have not eaten enough?

Why, [despite] wearing glasses, [I] still cannot see clearly?

Before I was annoyed at [my] mother's nagging, [but] now I want to hear, [but] still cannot hear.

How to drink and still not get drunk?

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