之 vs 的
Can someone explain to me the difference between 之 and 的? Is it the same? Is 之's role in time words (之后) related or completely a seperate meaning? Thanks for your help!
changyeAugust 16, 2009, 11:43 AM
"之" has a few important usages in written Chinese, such as "this", "it", "of (的)", and even "go". And "of (的)" is more commonly used than "this/it" in modern Chinese. Ths best examples should be "三分之一" (one third), "百分之五十" (50%), and 其中之一 (one of them).
P/S You can see "之" (go) only in classical Chinese.
oranginaAugust 17, 2009, 04:04 AM
谢谢你的帮助 changye 和 shaw2009!
A friend explained that in literary and academic writing 之 as 的 is still very current, but has a 'classier' sound to it. Upon my incessant questioning he also revealed that 之 can never be used as a possesive. His wife added that while 之 is proper in spoken chinese, she wouldn't feel comfortable saying it... too fancy. So I am getting a feel for the difference.
xiaophilAugust 17, 2009, 04:32 AM
I think you answered your own question brilliantly. What you said is what I have been told before, with the exception of the 'too fancy' part. I had no idea about that, although it makes sense. Maybe it is the same as if an American like me tried to talk like Queen Elizabeth.