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What is the meaning of 再 before adjectives as in these examples:

“再普通的小事经过她的嘴都可能变得很有意思。”

“一个人即使能力再高,经验再丰富,如果对工作没有责任心,也很难把工作做好。”

I was told that 再 in the first sentence is similiar to 无论 so the whole sentence means roughly "No matter how ordinary a thing that comes from his mouth, it can become interesting."

Can I use 再 like this in replacement of 无论?

e.g. 无论他吃多少药,病都没有好。= 再他吃多少药,病都没有好。

But then I'm still confused about the second example sentence? How does 再 (no matter how) work with 即使 (even if)?

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  • 再普通的小事 is translated as "how common and small the thing is". In the following sentence, 即使能力再高 should be translated as "despite how high (his) capability is", and 经验再丰富 - "how experienced (he) is. In here 再 is an adverb similar to "how" that modifies the adjectives.
    – r13
    Aug 21 at 14:13
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I think the best way to understand this is:

再 X usually followed by 也 / 还是

  • no matter how X
  • as much as ... is X

It is used in concessive clauses more or less equivalent in meaning to 不管 / 无论 ... 多少 / 多么

Examples:

再努力也没用 (similar to 不管你多么努力...)

No matter how hard you try, it's useless

她打扮得再漂亮,张节还是喜欢另外个小姑娘

As much as she dresses beautifully, Zhang Jie still likes another girl

这台电视机再贵,我还是打算买

No matter how expensive this TV is, I still intend to buy it.


About your questions:

Can I use 再 like this in replacement of 无论?

Yes, but you have to rework the word order a little:

无论他吃多少药,病都没有好 => 药他吃得再多,病也好不了

Actually in this specific example I think the second sentence 病都没有好 isn't a perfect fit anyway. Either 无论~多少 or 再 express what we could call a prediction. When I say "no matter how much drugs you take", I'm implying that I don't know how much you will actually take, but it simply is not relevant. After that sentence you use 病都没有好, which has a past connotation (没有好 = hasn't gotten any better). So using a prediction with a perfective action is weird.

So in my translation I changed the perfective 病都没有好 to something else 病也好不了 (or 病也不会好) that has a compatible aspect.

How does 再 (no matter how) work with 即使 (even if)?

即使 appears as emphasis; I think it's redundant. It makes sense in this sentence because the first clause is long, so it introduces the concessive clause without waiting for 再. You could write the same sentence without 即使。

Another way to understand it, in a more prosaic translation, could be:

即使 ... 再 X

  • even if [verb] plenty of

一个人即使能力再高,经验再丰富,如果对工作没有责任心,也很难把工作做好。

Even if one has plenty of skill and experience, without sense of responsibility toward their own work, they'll hardly do a good job.

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再 means basically "more", "further", with a meaning of "increasingly"

So here it means literally "even if one person is even more intelligent, even more rich, etc." (“一个人即使能力再高,经验再丰富,如果对工作没有责任心,也很难把工作做好。”) which is in fact similar to (“再普通的小事经过她的嘴都可能变得很有意思。”).

But because in English this syntactic structure doesn't exist, so we need to paraphrase it in order to get a more natural sentence:

"No matter how intelligent, rich, (...) a person is, if the person has not a sense of responsibility, (...)"

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即使 (even) = doesn't matter

能力高 (how much more capable)

Can I use 再 like this in replacement of 无论?

e.g. 无论他吃多少药,病都没有好。= 再他吃多少药,病都没有好。

You can replace 无论 with 再 in some context,

Unlike 无论, which can be placed before or after the subject, 再 can only be placed after the subject

他无论吃多少药,病都不会好。 / 无论他吃多少药,病都不会好。 --> 他吃多少药,病都不会好。 (No matter how much more medicine he takes, the disease won’t get better)

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The basic meaning of 再 is "again". Far as I can see, it represented a gate which, presumably, should be closed again after passing through.

Can't just wildly replace 再 with 无论。

First sentence could start: 无论再怎么普通 ...... (she must be very attractive, you are mesmerized by those sensuous lips, doesn't matter what crap she blubbers!)

Second sentence is: 即使 。。。。再 。。。。再 (sounds like jealous criticism of someone who is more talented.)

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