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原来 / 本来

Discussion in '中文+方言 (Chinese)' started by *サンティ*Santi*, May 30, 2013.

  1. *サンティ*Santi* Junior Member

    Alcoy, Alicante (Spain)
    Spain, Spanish / Catalan, Valencian
    Hello everyone!!

    Can someone explain with is the difference between 原来 and 本来. I mean, I kind of know what they mean, but don't understand when to use one or another, or both of them.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. SuperXW Senior Member

    My analysis:

    本来:original, originally, at the first place.

    1. Same to 本来.
    2. "The fact is/was...", has the connotation of "no wonder".
    e.g. 原来如此。(This is the reason. No wonder why.) 我说他怎么不理我,原来他已经走了。(No wonder why he doesn't reply me, the fact is he is gone.)
  3. x3xleggedxninja

    x3xleggedxninja Senior Member

    English (US)
    Out of curiosity, is 原来 better than/different from 难怪 in your example sentence?
  4. xiaolijie

    xiaolijie MOD

    English (UK)
    The two are very different in this context: 我说他怎么不理我,原来他已经走了。
    -With 原来, you realised your mistake because he'd already left when you were talking to him.
    -With 难怪, you confirmed your belief that he ignored you with the evidence.
  5. zhg Senior Member

    Hello Santi

    Could you give us a sentence in which you intend to use 本来/原来?
  6. Lucia_zwl

    Lucia_zwl Senior Member

    In addition to what SuperXW said, 本来 sometimes indicates a contrast/ something unexpected, while 原来 is often followed by the reason why something unexpected happened. e.g.
    本来说五点钟就到,(路上堵车)他五点半才到。-- He said he would arrive at 5 o'clock, but he didn't turn up until half past (due to the heavy traffic).
    难怪他迟到了,原来是路上堵车了。-- No wonder he's late, the fact is he was stuck in a traffic jam.

    They are different. In SuperXW's sentence, you can say 难怪他不理我,原来他已经走了。
  7. SuperXW Senior Member

    I've considered this situation, but found out 原来 is also acceptable in this case.
    i.e. 他本来说五点钟就到,(路上堵车)他五点半才到。:tick:
    Just for avoiding the ambiguity of the "no wonder" connotation, 本来 sounds better. But 原来 is not wrong.
  8. *サンティ*Santi* Junior Member

    Alcoy, Alicante (Spain)
    Spain, Spanish / Catalan, Valencian

    I've asked again my teacher and she said it is something like 本来 means there is no change and with 原来 there is a change.

    She used the following sentence, in which she said both were correct:

    我本来想留学在上外,现在就在上外留学。(Here there is no change, originally I wanted to study in Shangwai, and now I'm studying there.)
    我原来想留学在上外,结果去复旦留学。(Here there is a change, since I'm studying in a different university.)

    But then in the book we have one exercise to fill in the blanks, and we only had 本来, but still asked her and she said that 原来 would be wrong in this sentence:

    A 你不是要去旅行吗?怎么还没走?
    B .................. , 但是没赶上飞机,只好回来了。
    From what she explained I think she said we cannot used 原来 in this sentence because there is no change in the 想法 of the person. Although he wanted to take the plane (but he couldn't get it), he still got to the airport thinking about taking the place but realized that the plane was already gone.

    So now I'm kind of confused, do Chinese people do this difference between 原来 and 本来? Or maybe is it only here in Shanghai or some regions? (by the way, i do understand that 原来 also has another 用法, result+原来+reason, but it's the other meaning, the one that overlaps with 本来 that is getting me confused.)

    Thanks in advance!
  9. stellari Senior Member

    Mandarin Chinese
    I'll try to explain those two words in a way that makes the most sense to me.

    First, let's compare those two chars: 原 and 本. They could both mean "origin", "base", or "root". However, 原 emphasize more on the ancestry, or origin in time ; while 本focuses more on the physical or logical basis, and is used to represent "this" in many contexts .

    The said distinction applies in words such as 原来 and 本来. 原来 means something "used to " be in status A BEFORE, but NOW it has been changed to status B. It's a contrast in time; 本来 on the othet hand, suggests that something "should have been" in PLAN/A LOGICALLY MORE REAsonable status A, but it comes in status B IN FACT. It mainly shows a logical contrast or idea vs reality contrast. 本来 introduces a (much) stronger contrast than 原来;

    So for the 上外 sentences, i'd put them this way:
    我本来想去上外读书,但是现在却来了复旦;(wanted, maybe STILL WANT, to go to S, but ended up in F; plan vs reality.)
    我原来想去上外读书,但是现在想去复旦了(wanted to go to S, now want F; past vs present)。

    Basically, you would use 原来 when something 1. occurred in the past was 2. changed; 本来 when something doesnt turn to reality or deviates from plan. If both conditions are met in one sentence, then you can use both 原来 and 本来。
    But bear in mind that you focus on different aspects of the comparison by using different words:

    这副牌本来有五十四张,但现在只有五十张。(shouldve been 54 card, but now 50 -- deviated from a desirable status)
    这副牌原来有五十四张,但现在只有五十张。(used to be 54, now 50 -- a simple comparison and 50 is not necessarily a bad thing)

    In the plane example, if the sentence is "我们本来应该去旅游的",the action 'on a trip' shouldve but never happened (violate rule 1), so 原来 is less appropriate because you have nothing in the past to compare with. If you say "我们本来想去旅游", then obviously the action "want to go on a trip" doesnt change and you still want to go(violate rule 2). So either way, 原来 is not appropriate here. You may argue that in the shangwai example, the action of 'going to shangwai' never hapened either, how could we use 原来? True, but there the action was actually 想, which did happen; and the second clause is somewhat ambiguous about whether you still want to or not. Thats why you could get away with both.

    Remember, 本来 and 原来 are not necessarily about 想法; it just so happens that all your examples have 想 as the verb.

    If you are not sure about which to use, replace them with 'should ve' and 'used to' and you will be mostly correct.

    Btw, 本来就 could mean 'have been so from the beginning". It is used for strong confirmative , not contrast. Thats probably where your teacher's 'no change' theory came from. However, it isalmost always used with a 就 and is completely different from the 本来 we talked above. So they should be explained separately. It seems to me your teacher kind of mixed things up here.
  10. zhg Senior Member

    I'm afraid there isn't much difference between 本来...但... and 原来...但... , I'm not saying they are interchangeable all the time but in this case I believe so.

    For instance:
    我本来想留学在上外,现在就在上外留学。=我原来想留学在上外,现在就在上外留学。(Strange, I would expect to hear a but after 原来/本来.)

    A 你不是要去旅行吗?怎么还没走?

    B 我本来是要走的, 但是没赶上飞机,只好回来了。=我原来是要走的,但是没赶上飞机,只好回来了。
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2013
  11. SuperXW Senior Member

    I really think my original explanation is the best and the easiest... Can't you try to understand this? :p
    In most cases, 原来=本来.
    Only in the 2nd case, when you want to express the "no wonder" feeling, 原来 should be used instead of 本来.
    So 原来如此 can't be changed to 本来如此; 原来他已经走了 can't be changed to 本来他已经走了 in that case. It will take away the feeling.
  12. Lucia_zwl

    Lucia_zwl Senior Member

    I would say
    1.我本来就想去上外留学,现在如愿以偿了。-- I wanted to study in SW, and I did what I wanted to.
    As stellari said in #9, 就emphasises something has been always like this/as you wish, so there's no contrast/change.

    I would also use 本来, say 我本来(是)要走/我本来(是)想走.

    Maybe you're right (also by saying 原来 is not wrong in #7), but I still prefer 本来 if there's a contrast/change afterwords...maybe it's just my personal preference,:p and it saves us the trouble of distinguishing between the two words.:D

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