I've always thought of 被 as "by." I understand the following phrase means "deducted 10 points" but I don't understand the structure.


  • 1
    same as "passive" : The whole 10 marks are deducted. 整整 means it's the full 10 marks instead of 9.3 or 10.2.
    – Casper
    Commented Nov 15, 2013 at 11:32
  • 1
    It's a "be V-ed by" when used as a prep, but could mean quilt when used as a noun.
    – phoeagon
    Commented Nov 16, 2013 at 7:51

2 Answers 2


It suggests the passive mode as "be done" in English. So "被" + verb = be done in English.

About the "by", just as English, when using the passive mode, not all the sentence has a "by" in it.

Example with "by":


A lion ate the monkey.(狮子吃了那个猴子)


The monkey was eaten by a lion.(那个猴子**狮子吃了)

Example without "by":

He was killed,(他*被杀*了) but we don't know the murderer yet.

Here there is no "by" because we all know he was killed by someone we don't know yet. So no need to add "by the unknown murderer" here. Same as the Chinese version.

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    @hippietrail thank you for your advice! I have corrected it. Commented Nov 15, 2013 at 16:38

The 被 here means "be", 要被 should be translated as "going to be" or "going to have".

So the sentence should read something like: "I'm really going to have (my) 10 points taken away".

Be and by has this relationship, when you use going to be, you don't always say "by" whom, but its there in the context. You could say something like 被他扣十分 but when you switch over to 要被扣十分 it only means "going to have" not "going to by (missing subject) have points taken" which is what you may be thinking.

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