Chinese Grammar: "Except" and "in addition" with "除了...以外"
Lupishu keeps wanting to know what Nincha likes aside from catnip, but Nincha will only tell him if he knows how to ask him that in Chinese! Let’s help him out, shall we? The pattern you need to know to say that is 除了...以外 (chúle...yǐwài). It’s a very common pattern in Chinese and very useful.
除了...以外 has two meanings. It can either mean “except”, “aside from”, or “in addition to”, “besides”. The way it works is simple: You frame the exception or the addition by putting 除了 in front and 以外 at the end.
以外 can also be omitted in the sentence.
How to know if it’s an exception or an addition
Are you wondering how 除了 ... 以外 can both mean “in addition” and “except”? To know which 除了you’re facing, pay close attention to the adverbs in the sentence, they’ll clue you in as to which meaning you can expect. Let’s start with 除了 ... 以外 meaning “except”.
How do you feel about 除了...以外 now？If you remember that it can both mean “except from” and “in addition”, and that a good way to know which meaning you’re facing is to look at the adverbs in the sentence, you’ll be well on your way to mastering this pattern! Next step: practice building sentences with this pattern. Press Play to get started!
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