How to express generalized things and people

Posted by Grace Feng on July 25, 2014

20140724-232434-84274830.jpgWhen great thinkers express their wisdoms they love to use generalized nouns and pronouns. Therefore whoever reads it can relate the wisdom to his or her own life.

For example, “The more one shows off, the more one tries to cover up.”

In Chinese, we can use “一个人 yīgèrén” to explain “one”. Then the above example can be translated into “一个人越炫耀,越显出他想掩盖的空虚。(yīgèrén yuè xuànyào, yuè xiǎnchū tā xiǎng yǎngài de kōngxū。)”

Generally speaking, an English noun that starts with “a” or “an” can be translated into “一个”. Based on the noun, “个” can be replaced with more appropriate quantifiers, such as “只(for animals)”, “辆(for vehicles)” etc.

People also like to say “some day”, “some one” or “something” when referring to people or thing that could happen randomly. Or, in the situation that naming the exact people or thing is not necessary. For these kind of words, you do need the magic character of “某mǒu”, “某一天(someday)”,"某个人(someone)","某件事(something)"etc.

Now, let’s read through the following examples together and make a sentence of your own in the end:


yī gè huì jiānchí de rén jiù huì chénggōng。

One that persists succeeds.




zhǐyào xīnzhōng yǒu ài, nǐ yīdìng huì zài mǒu yī tiān de mǒu yī kè, děngdào mǒu yī gè néng dúdǒng nǐ de ài de rén。

As long as you have love, surely you will meet the one that can understand your love at a special moment one day.


Now it’s your turn to make a sentence with generalized pronoun. You can either try translating the following sentence or making up your own:

One day he will wake up and understand.

Don’t be shy to share your work with other readers in the comment area. Thanks!


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