posted by zjv5002 on May 26, 2012 | 3 comments
I just chanced upon a friend's Weibo post that reads: "我小时候家，大连这样的建筑街景随处可见，现在，只是存在于记忆中！"accompanied with a picture of, you guessed it, a collection of crumbling shops soon to be 拆ed off. My question, however, concerns 于. In the above sentence, 于 looks to function as "in"; "when I was a kid you could see this kind of architecture anywhere on the street in Dalian, but now it exists only in memory." Pleco lists 于 as alternately "in", "at", "to", "from", "out of", and "by". What are some of the most common ways to employ 于 in speech? writing? I've studied more than 18 months and never found reason to learn how to use 于 despite it apparently carrying the strength of every preposition in the English language. Have I blundered, or is 于 rarely found in the wild?
@zjv5002,于 is a preposition. One usage is almost the same as 在, but more formal and a lot older. It's usually used in chengyu or old set phrase, like 生于中国 (born in China). That's why you don't often see it in the daily life.Other common usages of 于 are: a) towards, like 求救于人 (asking help from people); b) to, like 献身于科学 (dedicate oneself to science); c) from, like 青出于蓝 (the disciple outdoes the master; d) this last one is the most useful in modern times: to compare, like 大于，高于 (bigger, higher).--Echoecho@popupchinese.com