How say except and besides in Chinese - grammar how to use 除了 chú le

To say 'except' & 'besides' in Mandarin you can use a sentence pattern that includes 除了 chú le, which we touched on in a previous daily sentence.

It has a few different sentence structures though and they have different meanings.  Apparently the 'in addition to' meaning of 除了 chú le is not that common but also included below.  To make it slightly more confusing, you can usually have 除了 chú le at the beginning or the end of the sentence.


1) The group (or things) is one way 'except'...

Group B + 都 + description + 除了 A


Tāmen dōu shì zhōngguó rén chúle nǐ

They are all Chinese except for you.

Or you could reverse it with similar meaning.


Besides you, they are all Chinese.

2) Except for A and B... - Basically to say there is only A and B

除了 A 就是 B

Jennifer! 你除了睡觉就是上网!

Jennifer! Nǐ chúle shuìjiào jiùshì shàngwǎng!

Jennifer! You do nothing except for sleep and surf the internet.


3) This is in addition, which is a less common use of 除了

除了A 还 B (in addition to A, B)

除了妈妈爸爸, 还有哥哥.

Chúle māmā bà ba, hái yǒu gēgē

In addition to my mom and dad, I have an older brother.


4) Everything is one way except this one thing.

除了 A 别的 B 都 description

Chúle Stefan, bié de rén dōu xǐhuan qiǎokèlì.

Everyone likes chocolate except for Stefan.


Reverse order after the comma to make this sentence work, using 别的 to emphasize everything.

Chúle niúnǎi, bié de hē de dōu bù hē.

Word for word it's strange to translate. But you'd translate it naturally as "I only drink milk."


Please let me know if I got anything wrong or if you have any questions just add them in the comments below.

(photo credit mmp-stock)


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