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How to Use 以致 (yǐ zhì) and 致使 (zhì shǐ) Correctly?

Feb. 10, 2022

“致使 (zhì shǐ)” is a word that appears in the seventh lesson of the “New HSK6 Standard Course (Part 1)”. Here’s an example of how it appears:

tā de cū xīn zhì shǐ shì yàn shī bài.
他 的 粗 心  致  使  试  验   失  败。
His carelessness caused the test to fail.

Let’s think about this question: can “以致 (yǐ zhì)” replace “致使 (zhì shǐ)” in this sentence?

The answer: no. The reason is that the clause before “therefore” needs to be a complete sentence. Confused? Don’t worry! Today we’re taking a closer look at the usage of “以致 (yǐ zhì)” and “致使 (zhì shǐ)”.

HSK 3 quiz

1. When Used as a Conjunction

First of all, both “以致 (yǐ zhì)” and “致使 (zhì shǐ)” can be used as conjunctions, both indicating the meaning of a certain result for a certain reason.

However, when “以致 (yǐ zhì)” is used as a conjunction, it means that the afore-mentioned situation leads to the following bad result or undesired ending. It generally means “results in [bad result]“, “to the point of [undesirable degree]“, or “as a result [undesirable outcome happens]”.

When used as a conjunction, “致使 (zhì shǐ)” generally means “due to a certain reason some result happened”, and the result can be good or bad.

HSK 3 quiz

例如:

tā měi tiān shuì zài dì xià shì,   yǐ zhì áo huài le shēn tǐ.
他  每   天   睡   在  地 下  室,以 致 熬  坏  了   身  体。
He slept in the basement every day, which cause his body to break down.

zhè lǐ de fēng jǐng tài hǎo kàn le, zhì shǐ wǒ men liú lián wàng fǎn.
这  里 的  风    景   太  好   看 了,致 使  我   们   流   连    忘    返。
The scenery here was so beautiful that we lingered for a long time.

Secondly, when “以致 (yǐ zhì)” is used as a conjunction, it can only be used at the beginning of the second half of the sentence to connect the clauses, and the preceding clause must be a complete sentence. When “致使 (zhì shǐ)” is used as a conjunction, it can be used not only to connect words, but also to connect phrases or sentences.

HSK 3 quiz

例如:

tā shì xiān méi yǒu jìn xíng chōng fèn de diào chá,  yǐ zhì zuò chū le cuò wù de jié lùn.
他 事   先   没   有   进   行     充     分  的   调    查,以 致  做   出  了  错  误  的 结 论。
He did not conduct a complete investigation beforehand, which led to a wrong conclusion.

jù dà de shān shí chōng xià shān gǔ zhì shǐ shù bǎi jiān fáng wū yán zhòng sǔn huǐ.
巨 大 的   山   石    冲      下   山   谷  致  使   数  百  间    房    屋   严    重     损   毁。
Hundreds of houses were badly damaged as huge rocks washed down the valley.

2. When Used as a Verb

Only “致使 (zhì shǐ)” can be used as a verb, indicating the occurrence or continuation of a result due to a certain reason, and emphasizing a causal relationship. It can also be understood as indicating that the occurrence or continuation of the result is caused by the former occurrence. When “致使 (zhì shǐ)” is used as a verb, it is used as a predicate after the subject and must be followed by an object. “以致 (yǐ zhì)” has no such usage.

HSK 3 quiz

例如:

wǎng luò wèn tí zhì shǐ yóu jiàn yī zhí wú fǎ sòng dá.
网       络  问  题 致  使   邮   件 一 直  无  法   送   达。
The email has been unable to be delivered due to network problems.

guò dù pí láo zhì shǐ gōng zuò chū xiàn le chā cuò.
过   度 疲  劳  致  使    工    作    出   现  了  差   错。
Excessive fatigue led to erros in the work.

lián xù de dà bào xuě zhì shǐ kuài dì wú fǎ sòng dá.
连   续 的  大  暴   雪   致  使   快  递 无  法  送   达。
Consecutive blizzards made the courier delivery undeliverable.

měi lì de fēng jǐng zhì shǐ tā liú lián wàng fǎn.
美  丽 的   风   景   致  使 他 流  连     忘   返。
The beautiful scenery made him linger for a long time.

To summarize: “致使 (zhì shǐ)” can be used as a conjunction or a verb, and the result can be positive or negative. “以致 (yǐ zhì)” can only be used as a conjunction, the preceding clause must be a complete sentence, and the following result is generally negative.

Next let’s do the following exercise: choose the correct word or words “以致 (yǐ zhì)” or “致使 (zhì shǐ)” that belong in the parentheses. Note that there may be more than one correct answer!

HSK 3 quiz

1. jiā tíng huán jìng de yǐng xiǎng ,( ) tā bù zài xiāng xìn qīn mì guān xì .
家      庭    环    境   的   影     响,    ( ) 她 不 再    相    信  亲  密   关   系。

2. tā wèi le gōng sī máng de bù kě kāi jiāo ,( ) méi yǒu shí jiān péi bàn jiā rén.
他     为  了  公   司   忙    得  不  可 开  交 , ( )   没   有   时  间   陪  伴   家 人。

3. huán jìng de pò huài ( ) zì rán zāi hài pín fán fā shēng.
环          境   的 破   坏  ( ) 自 然  灾  害   频  繁  发   生。

4. yīn wèi jiāo bù qǐ fáng zū ,( ) tā liú luò jiē tóu .
因       为   交  不  起  房   租,( ) 他 流  落  街  头。

5. shí nián de yì dì liàn ,( ) tā men zuì zhōng zǒu xiàng fēn shǒu.
十       年   的 异 地  恋,( )  他  们   最     终     走     向    分   手。

6. xiǎo gāng de ruǎn ruò wú néng ,( ) tā shī qù shēng zhí de jī huì.
小          刚   的   软    弱  无    能,   ( ) 他  失  去   升     职  的 机 会。

7. tā wéi zhāng chāo chē ,( ) niàng chéng zhòng dà chē huò.
他     违     章      超    车,  ( )   酿       成        重     大  车   祸。

8. tiān shēng de zuǐ chún jī xíng ( ) tā shuō huà dài yǒu bí yīn.
天          生    的  嘴    唇  畸  形  ( ) 他  说     话   带   有  鼻 音。

See Answer Analysis

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