I'm trying to do an exercise from a textbook; it's related to the grammar pattern 同样是……. Unfortunately, the textbook does not give any grammar explanations, and instead gives a single example and assumes it's possible for the student to infer the general pattern:

photo of relevant part

4. 同样是……


  1. 从小一起长大的同学,有的做了经理,有的成了教授,也有的做了售货员或者出租车司机。
  2. 手表的种类越来越多,有电子的,有机械的,有能当闹钟用的,还有能照相的。
  3. 教育孩子,……
  4. 上了年纪的老人,……
  5. 亚洲国家,……

高级汉语口语, Advanced Spoken Chinese, Peking University Press, p. 85.

The exercise is to modify the given sentences into so that they use the 同样是 grammar pattern. However, I cannot infer the grammar pattern from the given example. From the single example they give, I guess the grammar pattern is something like:

同样是 [topic], [description of group 1], [description of group 2].

This feels illogical to me, since 同样 means "same", whereas the groups and what they're doing are different. Furthermore, I didn't find example sentences on Jukuu using this pattern, and I didn't find it on the Chinese Grammar Wiki. If I were to blindly attempt this problem, to achieve this grammar pattern, I would change it to:

  1. 从小一起长大的同学,同样是事业,有的做了经理,有的成了教授,也有的做了售货员或者出租车司机。
  2. 手表的种类越来越多,同样是种类,有电子的,有机械的,有能当闹钟用的,还有能照相的。

But honestly, I'm just guessing, the grammar pattern seems unnecessary, and the second one feels wrong.

Question: What is the underlying grammar pattern behind 同样是 in the textbook 高级汉语口语?

  • 同樣是一起長的同學... sameness (these classmates all grew up together), difference (they end up having different professions);同樣是手錶.... sameness (they are all watches), difference (they have different functions.) 同樣是亞洲國家, 各國人口大不同; 同樣是上了年紀的老人,有的天天笑口常開,有的整天哭喪著臉.
    – joehua
    May 28, 2021 at 23:31

1 Answer 1

  1. To keep things simple, there are two things to note when using 同樣是⋯⋯:

    • The sentence pattern is for contrast. What that is same for the groups (≥2) is mentioned first, only to be followed by a transition.

    • What immediately follows 同樣是⋯⋯ can be the subject, the object, or the predicate, as long as it is common for the groups (to be contrasted).

    Despite both being staples, rice is eaten by Southerners, whereas noodles are eaten by Northerners.

    This is a sentence that compares the kind of staple in Southern and Northern China. The common element is 'staple' and is fronted in the sentence. Also note how I had to convert the latter two sentences into passive, because unlike Chinese, the first clause in English has to refer to the subject by default.

  2. Similarly,

    Despite being classmates that grew up together, some became business managers, some became professors; some also became salespersons or cab drivers.

    This emphasises how different the classmates have become in life despite growing up together. Here the subject (從小一起長大的同學) is fronted.

    Despite all being watches, some are electronic, some are mechanical, some can be used as an alarm, some can even be used to take pictures.

    Again this emphasises how different in kind watches can be. The subject is fronted. (It's convenient to look at 有的 as an adjective here.)

  3. What is fronted can also be the predicate of the sentence, as in

    When it comes to teaching children, some take a liberal approach, but some only beat and scold their children.

    This is a comparison between the approach to teaching children.

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