3

The lyric of a popular song "月亮代表我的心" (YouTube video) contains the phrase "我愛你有幾分".

This is my interpretation:

  1. 我 means I, me
  2. 愛 means love, care
  3. 你 means you
  4. 有 means to have or to have something you shouldn't have
  5. 幾 means few
  6. 分 means separation, divide

So I think it should be translated to "I love something you have with few division."

Can't figure where I am wrong.

3
  • 十分 is 100%; 五分 50%; 三分 30%.You get the idea. – joehua Jan 18 at 9:35
  • 1
    Quote:- "I love something you have with few division" LOL. I really like this; like another song titled "Love you to pieces" Come on, we all know you know the correct contextual translation of 我愛你有幾分; good imaginative try though :) – Wayne Cheah Jan 18 at 11:26
  • Oh, I forgot, "Love you to pieces" would be 爱你成碎片 Can't figure where I am wrong. – Wayne Cheah Jan 18 at 11:49
3

我 = I

愛你 = love you

有幾分? (in what degree) = how deep? --> how much?

我愛你有幾分? = how deep I love you

分(degree) here is a classifier for depth

Example:

半分愛意 (don't have a tiny bit of love) 半分 --> very little/ very lightly

有幾分愛意 (have some degree of love) 幾分 --> mildly

十分愛你 (love you very much); 十分 --> fully

3
  • Please can you check my answer 3rd or 4th here edited the answer – Haiz me Jan 19 at 12:23
  • 1
    As my comment stated, 幾 in a questioning phrase doesn't mean 'few/ some'. It is a prefix for 'how much' , 'how many', – Tang Ho Jan 20 at 7:00
  • Understood. Earlier I couldn't see the wording neither it as a question. Thanks. – Haiz me Jan 20 at 9:18
2

You misunderstand 分 here.

分 does not mean "division" here. Here 分 means the "points" (test score), in an exam or a contest where the perfect score is ten.

分 can also means "perdec" (per ten, a tenth), as a synonym of 成.

三分 three points (out of ten), three perdec (3/10)

五分 five points (out of ten), five perdec (5/10)

十分 ①[original meaning] ten points (out of ten), perfect score, full marks ②[extended meaning] "perfectly", very, extremely

幾分 how many points (out of ten), how many perdec

Assuming that there is an exam called "love", how many points can I get from the exam?

我愛你有幾分?

How many points (out of ten) do I love you?

How many perdec do I love you?

= How much do I love you?

Extra examples:

三分天注定,七分靠打拼。 [famous lyrics]

Three points depend on fate, while seven points depend on hardworking.

3/10 depends on fate, 7/10 depends on hardworking.

[Chinese version of "nature versus nurture"]

逢人只說三分話,未可全拋一片心。[ancient proverb]

Every time you meet a person, you should only tell them three perdec (3/10) of your mind. You should not "throw the entire heart to them" (tell them all your mind).


Some knowledge about the Chinese culture of proportions

Western culture prefers to use "percent" (per hundred, a hundredth), while Chinese culture traditionally uses "perdec" (per ten, a tenth), known as 分, 成, 折.

Examples:

三分 = three perdec (three tenths, 3/10)

七分 = seven perdec (seven tenths, 7/10)

八成 = eight perdec (eight tenths, 8/10)

九成 = nine perdec (nine tenths, 9/10)

折 is only used for discounts.

九折 = nine perdec remaining (i.e. 10% discount)

八折 = eight perdec remaining (i.e. 20% discount)

八五折 (8.5折) = 8.5 perdec remaining (i.e. 15% discount)


Disputes

As 分 is also a traditional Chinese unit of length, which is currently defined as ⅓ centimetre (in mainland China) or 10/33 centimetre (in Taiwan), some people believe that it is better to parse it as the depth of love measured in this length unit, instead of points or perdecs.

Examples:

入木三分 [idiom]

[literally] into the wood for three fen of depth

[figuratively] written in a forceful hand, penetrating, profound


Wait, this dispute might really be the different usage of 分 between mainland China and Taiwan, because the dictionaries really shows different definitions:

现代汉语词典

Xiandai Hanyu Cidian dictionary from mainland China:

⑧ 十分之一(用于某些计量单位或抽象事物):分米 | 分升 | 九分成绩,一分缺点

⑧ a tenth (for some units or something abstract): 分米 (decimetre) | 分升 (decilitre) | 九分成绩,一分缺点 (nine tenths of achievement, and one tenth of shortcoming)

教育部重編國語辭典修訂本

Ministry of Education Mandarin Chinese Dictionary from Taiwan:

(6) 計算程度深淺的單位。如「一分努力,一分收穫。」「逢人只說三分話。」

(6) A unit to measure depth, e.g. 一分努力,一分收穫 (one fen of hardworking produces one fen of rewards) and 逢人只說三分話 (every time you meet a person, you should only say three fen of words)

4
  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – Tang Ho Jan 18 at 15:06
  • 這裡的「幾分」,不是分數或百分比,這裡的表現偏重情感的表現,所以Tang Ho才是對的唷! – HungYu Chang Jan 18 at 16:06
  • @TangHo 可能真是陸臺差異,我在最後發了《现代汉语词典》(中國大陸)與《教育部重編國語辭典修訂本》(臺灣)這兩本詞典,真的給出了不同的解釋。前者有十分之一的義項,但是沒有深淺程度的義項。後者有深淺程度的義項,但是沒有十分之一的義項。 – Victor Jan 18 at 17:20
  • 很好,「月亮代表我的心」是臺灣歌,登麗君是臺灣人。臺灣作曲者及聴眾絕不會把「有幾分」理解成「有幾多分數」或「有幾分成數」 – Tang Ho Jan 18 at 18:07
0

几分 can mean either 几成/十分之几(n/10) or 一些(a bit) according to context.

几成;十分之几(n/10)

E.g. 有几分把握? 我有十分把握/我有十成把握.

In your context, 几分 means a few, a little, some or somewhat/somehow.

So, 我爱你有几分: I somehow love you. Or I love you a bit.

13
  • Yes. Almost every word, in all languages of the World, has more than one meaning or definition. As always the situational context would determine which meaning / definition to use, (unless poetic license is liberally applied) Hence the problem the OP has, which is he took one possible definition, "separation / division", doggedly stuck to that and thus went down the wrong rabbit hole. – Wayne Cheah Jan 19 at 4:52
  • I went the rabbit hole due to pauses or wording. The problem was in sequence 你有 meant you have. – Haiz me Jan 19 at 12:27
  • @Haizme 我爱你有几分 can be worded as 我对你的爱有几分. This probably helps you a bit. – dan Jan 19 at 14:31
  • Quote:- "The problem was in sequence 你有 meant you have" Well, you got the sequence incorrectly. The sentence 我爱你有几分? should be sequenced as (我爱你) -- (有几分) and not (我爱) -- (你有) -- (几分) Thus (我爱你) -- (有几分) would be (I love you) -- (to what degree or by how much)? The incorrect sequence of (我爱) -- (你有) -- (几分) would end up as (I love) -- (you have) -- (what degree / how much) which is where the problem lies. – Wayne Cheah Jan 19 at 14:36
  • Opppsss. I commented before seeing your answer below. So you got the sequence now? BTW, "I have some depth in loving you" is not exactly right because 我爱你有几分 is a question, not a comment. So, it should read, "I love you to what degree or by how much or how deep?" – Wayne Cheah Jan 19 at 14:44
0

In the song the pauses/wording were there like this 我愛,你有,幾分。 I love,you have, some seperation.

Now after seeing the answers I think it was meant like this. 我愛你,有幾分。I love you, having some depth.

I have some depth in loving you.

2
  • Is this okay... – Haiz me Jan 18 at 15:23
  • 1
    No, in this context 幾 doesn't mean 'few'. It is a prefix that indicates 'how much' 'how many' ; 分 doesn't mean separation. It is a classifier for depth. 'Both 我愛你有多深?' and '我愛你有幾分?' mean 'how deep I love you?' – Tang Ho Jan 18 at 17:52

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.