1

我有一个体会:现实中,我们不一定知道正确的道路是什么,但时时反省、总结,却可以使我们不会在错误的道路上走得太远。

This is from the Standard Course Book of HSK5, chapter 26. What is the meaning of 却 here?

却(?)可以(can)使(let)我们(us)不会(will not)在(in)错误的(wrong)道路(path or road)上(in)走得(go or walk)太(very)远(far or distantly).

Everything makes sense to me, apart from 却. All its classical meanings, such as but, yet, however, while, nevertheless, even though etc., do not make sense to me. Any help?

1
  • Personally, 却 can be omitted without any loss of meaning. Oct 31, 2023 at 9:18

4 Answers 4

1

却可以, 使我们不会, 在错误的道路上, 走得太远。

Quote:- "...but, yet, however, while, nevertheless, even though, do not make sense to me"

True, all those prepositions even in English do not make much sense by themselves or read in isolation. They make better sense only when they precede a noun or a pronoun or expressing a relation to another word or element.

So, similarly, 却 should not be read alone or in isolation. It should, in the sentence in question, be read as 却可以, thus 却 expresses a relationship to 可以, as "...yet it could...." / "...but it could...."

Since you are already doing HSK5, I think there is no need to explain further about the essential necessity of compounding in Chinese.

BTW, I think a better way to parse the sentence is as shown above. You could test this by reading the separated sections quickly with a short pause at the commas.

1

Here, 却 = however (To whatever degree or extent; In whatever way or manner)

....但时时反省、总结,(它們)却可以.... - but self-questioning from time to time, summarize (the afterthoughts), (they), however can....

0

却 means but or however. The reason that you feel difficult to understand the sentence is because the speaker did not put all of the context explicitly. The word 反省, 总结 implys that we made some mistakes before. But we can get the lesson from them.

The Chinese officers have a culture of dishonest. They only tell you they did the good things, never wrong doing. Even for the bad, they say they will learn from it. You can not understand them if you grow up in a western culture.

0

却 feels normal to me here (but I'm a student of Putonghua myself so that means little). I think 却 corresponds to "still" in this rough sketch of a translation:

Nowadays, we cannot be entirely sure what is the best way to go. However, frequently taking stock and questioning ourselves can still ensure that we don't go very far in the wrong direction.

I think "nonetheless" instead of "still" would also work.

It may be interesting to also look at the following translation which I got from an automated online service. The 却 seems to be lost in translation in this version.

In reality, we may not necessarily know what the right path is, but constant reflection and summary can prevent us from going too far on the wrong path.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.