This website uses cookies. Find out more or .
fǎn ér
adv. instead, contrary to
Discussion of 反而
To include posts you need to register at
In this post, we discuss how to correctly use the correlative adverb 反而. Generally speaking, 反而 is used in the second (or in some other contexts, the third, the fourth) clause indicating a phenomenon which does not stand to reason. For example:
Example 1a: 我好心帮他,反而被他拒绝了。 [phr] I wanted to help him, but he rejected me instead.

The use of 反而 fits a four-step reasoning (we use letters A~D to indicate the four steps):
A - Phenomenon/ Situation A appeared or occurred.
B - According to common sense, logic, or someone’s expectation, the occurrence of A should have lead to the occurrence of Phenomenon/Situation B.
C - The reality (let’s use the letter C) is that B did not happen.
D - In fact, Phenomenon/Situation D, which is the opposite to B, happened. 反而 precedes D.

Let's take a look at Example 1a again below. If we complete the four steps, we have 1b:
Example 1a: (A)我好心帮他,(D)反而被他拒绝了。 [phr] (A)I wanted to help him, (D)but he rejected me instead.
Example 1b: (A)我好心帮他,(B)他应该接受我的帮助,(C)但是他没有接受,(D)我被他拒绝了。[phr] (A) I wanted to help him. (B) He should have accepted my help (according to my expectation), (C) but he didn’t. (D) My offer of help was turned down (by him).

In Example 1a & 1b, B and C are omitted. In some other sentences, A can be omitted too. Please take a look at Example 2a and 2b:
Example 2a: (C)风不但没停,(D)反而更大了 [phr] (C)The strong wind did not stop; (D) on the contrary, it became stronger.
Example 2b: (A)已经刮了一天的大风, (B)按理说现在风应该停了, (C)风不但没停,(D)反而更大了 [phr] (A)The strong wind has been blowing the entire day. (B)It should have stopped by now. (C)The strong wind did not stop; (D)on the contrary, it became stronger.
You you can select to receive personal notifications on the app or via email for important contributions to words that you are learning in the account settings .