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几年后的一天,一个上幼儿园的小男孩跟着父亲从一群正在进行篮球比赛的人旁边经过。

This is from the Standard Course Book of HSK5, section 13.

What is the meaning of 旁边经过?

This is my literal translation:

几年(a few years)后(later)的一天(a day),一个(one)上(in)幼儿园(kindergarten)的小(small)男孩(boy/son)跟着(was following)父亲(father)从(from)一(a)群(group / classifier)正在(in the process of)进行(conducting / carrying out)篮球(basketball)比赛(match)的人(people)旁边(to the side)经过(process)

But the last two words do not make sense.

3 Answers 3

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When we walk into a crowd that is playing ball, we will simply "walk around by its edge (旁边) to get through (经过)", so "旁边经过" can be interpreted as "pass through", or "pass by".

Note, that any translation must make sense in the language it is translated to. Often, there is a lack of one-to-one relationship between the two languages, then you need to fully understand the content/meaning of the original language, then find comparable expressions in the second, if the word-for-word translation does not make good sense. Sometimes the structure of the sentence might also need to be altered as well.

The example sentence can be translated in many ways, below is my try:

  • 几年后的一天,一个上幼儿园的小男孩跟着父亲从一群正在进行篮球比赛的人旁边经过。One day a few years later, a kindergarten-age kid follows his father passing through/by a group of people who were undergoing a basketball competition.
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What is the meaning of 旁边经过?

You need to have the "从", so that (从什么什么旁边)经过。

"从" is not just "from". It can mean a lot of things and can make a lot of phrases with other words.

从什么什么旁边, 从什么什么上边,从什么什么里边,从什么什么底下。

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[从] [一群正在进行篮球比赛的人(的)] [旁边] [经过]

[from] [a group of people who were playing basketball] [one side of] [passing by]

passing by from one side of a group of people who were playing basketball

[旁边] is the object

[经过] is the verb

[一群正在进行篮球比赛的人(的)] is the adjectival phrase for the object

Similarly structured sentence:

[从][馬路旁][经过]

[from][the roadside][passing by] = passing by from the roadside

[馬路旁] is the object

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