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您們好!

Firstly, I would like to point out that I am 1st year student. I wanted to ask you if 比 comparative structure is correct here in this sentence "聪明人从敌人那里得到好处比傻瓜从朋友那里得到的。" because my tutor was ambiguous about it. It's my own translation of this “A wise man gets more use from his enemies than a fool from his friends.” (it's Baltasar Gracian quote from "The Art of Worldly Wisdom: A Pocket Oracle")

Thanks for help :)

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  • You are very close. Try this: 一个聪明人从敌人那里获得的比一个傻瓜从朋友那得到的多得多。
    – r13
    May 28, 2023 at 0:02
  • Apart from the answers already given (especially the missing adjective), the entire construction seems rather clunky and unnatural to me as a pithy saying – too literal and too colloquial (especially with the 那里). Substituting 智者 and 愚者 as in @pedroski’s answer definitely helps, but I would restructure the whole thing to avoid the 比 construction entirely. Perhaps something along the lines of 智者利用敌人多于愚者利用朋友. May 28, 2023 at 14:26

3 Answers 3

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聪明人从敌人那里得到好处傻瓜从朋友那里得到的。
A wise man gets more use from his enemies than a fool from his friends.

The Chinese sentence seems incomplete; the main issue is that it lacks an adjective:

Noun 1 + 比 + Noun 2 + Adj.
Basic comparisons with "bi", Chinese Grammar Wiki

Google suggests the correct sentence should be:

一个聪明人从敌人那里得到的东西,一个傻瓜从朋友那得到的东西更多。 (source)

and we have:

Noun 1 = 一个聪明人从敌人那里得到的东西
Noun 2 = 一个傻瓜从朋友那得到的东西

Here 更多 means "even more", implying a fool can get things from friends, but the wise man can get even more from their enemies.

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    The word 东西 is often omitted. For example, 这是我的 = 这是我的东西。
    – PdotWang
    May 28, 2023 at 13:18
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Becky's answer is excellent.

I also want to point out that your original translation doesn't cover the word 'more'. It's "more use", not just 'use'. So, you definitely need 更多.

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Agree with Becky: you need 更多 at the end:

智者从敌人那里得到的好处比愚者从朋友那里得到的更多。

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