I'm struggling to understand how the part in bold breaks apart:

HSK6 past exam; also Coursera HSK6 course, week 7, lesson 3

Breaking it apart literally...

Electronic paper [电子纸] is [是...的] utilizes [利用] electrophoretic display technology [电泳显示技术] principle [原理] invention [发明] manufactured from [而成].

I'm finding it hard to put these pieces together. It seems it just means "electronic paper has an electrophoretic display" with some buzzwords added in: "electronic paper utilizes the invention of the principle of electrophoretic display technology for manufacturing."

Question: How do I break apart 电子纸是利用电泳显示技术原理发明而成的?


电子纸 - Electronic paper

是 - is

利用 - using

电泳显示技术原理 - the principles of electrophoretic display technology

发明 - to invent

而成的(产品) - into (product)

Replace 发明 with 创造 would make it sound more natural

电子纸 | 是 | 利用 | 电泳显示技术原理 | 创造 | 而成的(产品)

Electronic paper is (a product) created by using the principles of electrophoretic display technology

  • I prefer 发明 to 创造 in this case. 发明电子纸 Vs. 创造电子纸. 发明电子纸 is more common.
    – dan
    Jul 29 '20 at 4:37
  • If it has to be 发明, then my sentence would be 电子纸是利用电泳显示技术原理发明出來的
    – Tang Ho
    Jul 29 '20 at 5:33


The main part is 电子纸发明而成. You can consider it as 是...的... structure here. 利用电泳显示技术原理 answers how 电子纸 is invented(发明). The breakdown:




主语: (电子)纸

谓语: 是

宾语(从句): 利用电泳显示技术原理发明而成的.

宾语中: 利用(电泳显示技术的)原理, 发明而成的.


I would analyze the sentence like this.

             电子纸   是     利用    电泳显示技术原理    发明   而  成     的
Level 1:  \-Subject-/\-------------------Predicate--------------------/
Level 2:             \P/   \-----------Direct-Object------------/    的
Level 3:                   \-----------Predicate----------------/
Level 4:                   \-------Predicate-----------/   C \Pr/
Level 5:                   \------Subject-------/   \Pr/     \-P/
Level 6:                   \-----Predicate------/   \-P/
Level 7:                   \-P/    \---Object---/

P: Predicator
Pr: Predicate
C: Conjunction

So if we rebuild the context from bottom up:

  • E-paper is something.
  • E-paper is the product of something. (I liberally chose the word "product" for 成. 成 really means become/turn into)
  • E-paper is the product of some invention.
  • E-paper is the product of an invention utilizing something.
  • E-paper is the product of an invention utilizing the Electrophoretic Display principle.

I don't think the sentence is correct.

技术 and 原理 took the same position. You can say either 电泳显示技术 or 电泳原理, but not 技术原理。Either tech or theory but not both.

Also 是利用~发明的 is also a little weird to me. The order is correct but twisted. More straightforward version should be 电子纸的发明利用了~.

而成 should be combined with 制作 instead of 发明, because you can say 制作成~的样子 but not 发明成~的样子。

The correct sentence should be

  • 电子纸是利用电泳原理发明的
  • 电子纸的发明利用了电泳原理
  • 电子纸是利用电泳显示技术发明的
  • 电子纸的发明利用了电泳显示技术
  • 电子纸是用现代生产工艺制造而成的

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