The phrase is: "我主張制止不了就放任".

Initially I tried to break the sentence and thought the translation would be something like:
(1) "In my viewpoint,  if you can't stop it, just let it go".

But the two translations that i found are:

(2) I'm arguing that I can't stop it and let it go.

(3) I prefer, ” if you can’t stop it, go ahead.”

(1) and (3) are similar, but quite different from (2).

I confused about what can really be inferred from the phrase, mainly because of the sentence (2).

Breaking it down:

我 (wǒ)= I, my

主張 (zhǔzhāng)= viewpoint, to advocate

制止 (zhìzhǐ)= to stop 不了 (bùliǎo)= unable to

就 (jiù)= just (I started to study Mandarin very recently, but I know that there are several nuances with the use of this word.)

放任(fàngrèn)= to let alone

Context: excerpt from the song "懸溺" by "葛東琪" (Gé Dōng qi) First verse:






I don't think the context is very important because I want to know what can be deduced only with 我主張制止不了就放任.

Question: How do the words in 我主張制止不了就放任 piece together? 

Thank you in advance


Chinese adopts the SVO structure. In this case, the subject (S) is 我, the verb (V) is 主張, and the object (O), or what the speaker advocates, is 制止不了就放任.

Within the phrase 制止不了就放任, the single most important character is 就 (then). In fact, it is an abbreviation of 如果⋯⋯就⋯⋯ (if... then...), which is a construction we see in conditional sentences (假設複句).

The phrase before 就 is the condition, that after 就 is the result.

Both verbal phrases 制止不了 (unable to stop) and 放任 (let go) have an unspecified subject. They are both referring to the same subject 這慾望與絕望之爭 (this fight between desire and despair) in the next verse.

Your second translation does not contain any conditional constructions. Your third translation did not accurately translate 放任. I would argue your first translation is the best fit.


我 = I

主張 = propose; suggest; say

(如果;既然) 制止不了 = (if; since) it can't be stopped

就放任. = then/just let it be

我主張制止不了就放任 - I say if/ since it can't be stopped, just let it be

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.