Chinese HSK4 Grammar Points

Expressing “Originally” and “Obviously” with “Benlai

To express something that was originally planned to be one way but then changed course, you will usually want to use 本来. For expressing things that were originally planned and then possibly continued the same way, you can use 原来.

The most common case is a change of past events. In english this would be a sentence like “we were [originally] going to go hiking, but it started raining [so we didn’t go]”

For Example:

他本来是想参加派对的,不过他生病了。

Tā běnlái shì xiǎng cānjiā pàiduì de, bùguò tā shēngbìngle.

He was going to join the party, but he got sick.

Or

我本来是要今天做完这些任务的,但是来不及了。

Wǒ běnlái shì yào jīntiān zuò wán zhèxiē rènwù de, dànshì láibujíle.

I was going to finish those tasks today, but there wasn’t time.

Expressing “Always…So” with “Benlai Jiu”

Another way to use 本来 is to express something that is a certain way, so why are you thinking that it will be a different way. An english example of this would be: “She never liked you, [so] why do you keep texting her [because she will never like you]?”. The grammar structure for this is 本来就。

For Example:

他本来就不喜欢你,你为什么一直给她发小新?

Tā běnlái jiù bù xǐhuān nǐ, nǐ wèishéme yīzhí gěi tā fā duǎnxìn?

She never liked you, why do you keep texting her?

Or

他本来就是这样,你觉得他会改变吗?

Tā běnlái jiùshì zhèyàng, nǐ juédé tā huì gǎibiàn ma?

He is always like this, do you think he will change?

Expressing “Obviously” with “Benlai Jiu”

You can also use the same grammar structure to express something that you think should be this way. An english sentence would be: “You should obviously travel to other countries if you have the chance”.

For Example:

照顾孩子本来就是父母的责任。

Zhàogù háizi běnlái jiùshì fùmǔ de zérèn.

Taking care of children is supposed to be the responsibility of parents.

Or

进化论本来就是正确的理论。

Jìnhuàlùn běnlái jiùshì zhèngquè de lǐlùn.

Evolution is obviously the correct theory,