Friday, June 17, 2016

What does 行將 (행장) mean?

On Page 25 of "Du's Handbook of Classical Chinese Grammar," the following sentence appeared:
Mr. Lee (李氏) soon (行) will (將) return (歸). Why not (盍), for awhile (姑), wait for (待) him (之)?
行, by itself, can be used as an adverb meaning "soon" or "before long," and 將 can be used as an auxiliary verb meaning "will," so 行將 translates as "will soon." The Korean equivalent is 곧. Notice that the adverb (行) comes before both the auxilliary verb (將) and the main verb (歸).

Saturday, June 11, 2016

What does 革食此 (혁식차) mean?

食 (식) means "to eat" and 此 (차) means "this," but what does 革 (혁) mean in the above sentence?

Besides meaning "leather" or "animal hide," 革 can also mean "to reform," "to remove," or "to expel (from office),"  but can it also mean "instead"?

On Page 24 of "Du's Handbook of Classical Chinese Grammar," in the section explaining adverbs and modal verbs, 革食此 was one of the example sentences used to show how adverbs were placed before the verbs they modified in Classical Chinese. 革食此 (혁식차) was translated as "eat this instead," meaning that 革 was translated as "instead." Before now, I cannot remember ever seeing 革 translated as "instead," but words like 革新 (혁신), which means "reform" or "renovation," does seem to imply "instead," in that when you reform something, instead of the old way, you try a new way.  Has anyone seen any other examples of 革 being used to mean "instead"?