加以 (jiāyǐ) in Chinese grammar: apply to, engage in, endeavour to

加以 (jiāyǐ) is a very formal word in Chinese that’s used to talk about actions being implemented or applied to things, or work being carried out. You generally won’t hear it in speech, as it’s more appropriate for formal writing. We’ll look at several structures using 加以. Each of them involves an effect or action being applied to a noun. Usually the effect is also a noun, but sometimes it is a nominalised verb (a verb being used as a noun). Remember that part of speech distinctions are often less clear in Chinese than they are in English.

加以 with 对 (duì)

The most common structure involving 加以 is probably with 对, and it looks like this:

[noun] 加以 [effect]

This is used to talk about some sort of action or effect being carried out on or towards the the noun (hence the use of 对). Some example sentences:

科学家的工作就是对理论加以检验。

Kēxuéjiā de gōngzuò jiùshì duì lǐlùn jiāyǐ jiǎnyàn.

The work of a scientist is to put ideas to the test.

政府必须对枪支的买卖加以限制。

Zhèngfǔ bìxū duì qiāngzhī de mǎimài jiāyǐ xiànzhì.

The government must implement limits on the sale of firearms.

讨论这个问题的时候,应该对这两个概念加以区别。

Tǎolùn zhège wèntí de shíhou, yīnggāi duì zhè liǎng gè gàiniàn jiāyǐ qūbié.

When discussing this issue, one ought to distinguish between these two concepts.

As you can see, in these sentences 加以 is being used to link effects or actions to the things they apply to. You could almost think of 加以 as being like 加 alone - “to add”. These actions or effects are being _added _to the nouns they apply to. 对 and 加以 do the work of linking them together.

加以 with 把 (bǎ), 将 (jiāng)

Another common structure with 加以 uses 把 or 将. If you’re already familiar with the 把 structure, then you might know that in more formal writing, 将 is often used instead of 把. The structure is otherwise the same. We’ll use the more formal 将 here because 加以 is also a formal word.

The basic structure for 将 with 加以 is:

[noun] 加以 [effect]

You can probably see the similarity between this and the structure with 对. Whilst the structures are the same, the meaning may be subtly different in that 对 has a sense of actions being _applied to _the noun, whereas 将 is more neutral and simply serves a grammatical purpose (read more about the 把 structure linked to above if you’re not clear on that).

Let’s have a look at some example sentences:

请将这些照片加以分类。

Qǐng jiāng zhèxiē zhàopiàn jiāyǐ fēnlèi.

Please classify these photos.

本公司将此产品加以促销。

Běn gōngsī jiāng cǐ chǎnpǐn jiāyǐ cùxiāo.

Our company is promoting this product.

我们必须将古建筑加以保护。

Wǒmen bìxū jiāng gǔ jiànzhú jiāyǐ bǎohù.

We must protect old buildings.

Note that other than being a formal version of 把, 将 has another unrelated use. 将 can mean “will” or “is going to”, i.e. it indicates future actions. When used in this way it’s very much like a more formal version of 要. Have a look at some example sentences involving 加以 and 将 as a future-marker:

政府将在2015年对旅游行业加以规范。

Zhèngfǔ jiàng zài 2015 nián duì lǚyóu hángyè jiāyǐ guīfàn.

The government is going to apply regulations to the tourism industry in 2015.

参议院将对此政策加以修改。

Cānyìyuàn jiāng duì cǐ zhèngcè jiāyǐ xiūgǎi.

The Senate is going to make adjustments to this policy.

In these sentences, 将 is not acting like 把 but is indicating that these actions will occur in the future.

加以 with 以 (yǐ)

The character 以 can also be used in a very similar way to 把 and 将. As with those particles, it’s used to indicate a noun receiving the action of the verb, or being used during the course of this action. It’s sometimes translated as “with”, “taking” or “to” for this reason. The structure is the same:

[noun] 加以 [action]

Have a look at some examples:

这种病如何以飲食療法加以治疗?

Zhè zhǒng bìng rúhé yǐ yǐnshíliáofǎ jiāyǐ zhìliáo?

How can this illness be addressed through diet?

消炎药先以清水加以沖淡再用。

Xiāoyányào xiān yǐ qīngshuǐ jiāyǐ chōngdàn zài yòng.

Dilute the antiobiotics with clean water before use.

此决定以公投加以背书。

Cǐ juédìng yǐ gōngtóu jiāyǐ bèishū.

This decision was backed up by a referendum.

以 is a little different to 把 and 将 in that it can be used to talk about things that happen to the noun, but is more general, often describing actions that happened involving the noun.

加以 with 由 (yóu)

You may already be familiar with the 被 structure that’s often described as “the passive voice” in Chinese. Just as 以 is similar to but more general than 将, there is a more formal and general version of 被. The character 由 can be used in much the same way as 被, but rather than indicating passive (“by”), it means “due to”. Grammatically, though, it used in the same way as 被.

The structure with 加以 is:

[noun] 由 [cause] 加以 [effect]

This structure is used to say that due to the cause, the effect happened to the noun. Some example sentences will make this clearer:

食品安全标准由法律加以规范。

Shípǐn ānquán biāozhǔn yóu fǎlǜ jiāyǐ guīfàn.

Food safety standards are specified by law.

此问题能否由计算机加以处理?

Cǐ wèntí néng fǒu yóu jìsuànjī jiāyǐ chǔlǐ?

Can this problem be processed by a computer?

干部均应由中央加以管理。

Gànbù jūn yīng yóu zhōngyāng jiāyǐ guǎnlǐ.

All cadres are managed by the Party Centre.

The above sentences show the grammatical similarity between 由 and 被, but also how 由 is more general in it’s purpose (it’s also a lot more formal).

加以 with 从 (cóng)

This structure is a little different to the rest. You can use 加以 with 从 in the following pattern:

[starting point] 加以 [verb] [result]

As 从 means “from” or “following”, this structure is used to talk about actions being applied from a certain point in time, or results being obtained from something. Have a look at some example sentences:

废水从工厂净化后加以利用。

Fèishuǐ cóng gōngchǎng jìnghuà hòu jiāyǐ lìyòng.

Waste water is used after being purified by the treatment plant.

报告说明,天然资源管理需从根本加以改善。

Bàogào shuōmíng, tiānrán zīyuán guǎnlǐ xū cóng gēnběn jiāyǐ gǎishàn.

The report says that natural resource management needs to be improved from the root.

她从正面加以引导。

Tā cóng zhèngmiàn jiāyǐ yǐndǎo.

She leads by positive example.

You might not feel that this is a separate structure for 加以, and you may be right! When learning languages, it’s rare that anything is clear-cut. The important thing is to think about the language in the way that makes most sense to you. Because of that, there are endless further permutations and potential ‘structures’ involving 加以 which we won’t go into here.

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