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Chinese Grammar: Expressing “even” with 甚至

Lupishu’s been thinking a lot about his friends and the Ninchas he left back home while on his journey. Writing letters to them is a good way to feel better and he’s realizing there are a lot of expressions you can use verbally that sound a lot better when put differently in writing in Chinese. Even the little word “even” has a special word in writing: 甚至!

Let’s see how to say “even” in Chinese with 甚至.

When to use 甚至

Generally speaking, 甚至 is used to emphasize a situation in written Chinese and to show determination. It’s more formal than ... / , another structure to say “even” and is a stronger way to stress something in a sentence because 甚至 conveys a more objective feeling. You use 甚至 when you want to emphasize something without showing your feelings. 甚至 has two common usages, let’s look at them!


甚至 可能 公司 工作 多久
They may even ask you how long you plan on working here.

How to use 甚至: As an adverb to put emphasis

When used as an adverb, 甚至 mainly puts focus and stress on the comment that the speaker is making. You’ll use it, for example, in a comparison of two objects, or to directly emphasize a situation.


甚至 + the part you want to place emphasis on.

As an adverb, 甚至 can be used either with words or phrases. It must always be placed before the verb.


这个 甚至字典 不到
You can’t even find this word in the dictionary.

英语甚至 汉语
Not to mention English, he's even studied Chinese.

自行车 这儿甚至 坐车
If you go there by bike, it’s even faster than driving.

Using 甚至 as a conjunction to connect sentences

甚至 as a conjunction is used to highlight the following part of a comment or situation. You, therefore, can use it to connect two sentences together, showing the link between the two and to push the point you’re making even further.

You’ll then see 甚至 followed by a structure parallel to the first point: a noun, a verb, an adjective, and so on can follow 甚至 when it’s a conjunction.


甚至 + the last part you want to emphasize

One thing to know: You can’t put the clause with 甚至 before the principal point you’re making. It can only be put at the end of the sentence because it aims to push the point you’re making further and acts as a subordinate clause.


对于 这个 问题好多 明白甚至完全 不理
Regarding this problem, many people don’t find it clear, and some even don’t understand it at all.

经过 感到 伤心甚至有些 绝望
Through this event, he felt sad and even a little desperate.

医院 容易甚至不可能
Getting him to go to the hospital is not easy, maybe even impossible.

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