Nominally all land in China is owned by the state


New Member
I am an English student studying chinese and I am writing an essay on the differences between China's and America's economies. I am struggling to know what verb to use in this sentence:

Nominally all land in China is owned by the state.

My attempt:


Is the use of 拥有 correct in this context of land ownership? and can I use the 由(N)(V)的 construction here?

  • xiaolijie

    Senior Member
    English (UK)
    In addtion to grace's suggestion, it may be useful to remember that 由 tends to be followed by an active verb (=a verb of action), and not a stative one like 拥有.


    Senior Member
    Chinese (Mandarin)
    Hi Findavidson!

    I think you can say 是由...拥有的 in this context. But for a more formal version (in your essay), I would use 归...所有, as Grace suggested, and “the ownership” is 所有权.

    Two more corrections:
    1.土地 is more appropriate in this context. For 地产, we always say 房地产 (real estate).
    2.In your original sentence,
    Nominally all land in China is owned by the state.
    but why do you change it to 政府:confused:(though sometimes 国家 and 政府 do mean the same in China...) So I would say 在中国,土地一般归国家所有.

    BTW, welcome to the forum and good luck with your essay!:D


    Senior Member
    Wu Chinese & Italian
    If you want to translate "nominally", you could use “名义上”。
    Though I think in China the lands are really owned by the state, not only nominally. Privates get the "right to use it", not the property. And legally, after 70 years, the land returns to the state, though this rule is not applied anymore I think. But this not a language question anymore. ;)
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