The Two Difference Pronunciations of 为 wei, and it’s meanings

为 have 2 different pronunciations and many different meanings:

  1. 为 as preposition is pronounced as ‘wèi’, normally it has the meaning of ‘for’, or ‘because of’ 

为了wèi le for, for the purpose of.

xióng xiān shēng, wèi le nǐ wǒ shén me dōu yuàn yì zuò
熊 先 生, 为 了 你 我 什 么 都 愿 意 做.

Mr Bear, for you I am willing to do anything. 

wèi le qián, wǒ bì xū gōng zuò
为 了 钱,我 必 须 工 作。

For money, I must work (I must work for the sake of money). 

wèi le kǎo shàng dà xué, wǒ bì xū nǔ lì dú shū
为 了 考 上 大 学,我 必 须 努 力 读 书。

In order to go to university (get accepted by uni), I must study hard. 

因为yīn wèi  Because

yīn wèi suǒ yǐ
因为。。。所以。。。  Because  … so ..

wèi shén me
为 什 么? Why

为 can also be used on its own,

wǒ wèi tā zuò le zhè me duō
我 为 他 做 了 这 么 多

I did this much for him

This conversation dialogue often arises between a politician, a manager or a boss and its subordinates:

nín xīn kǔ le
A: 您辛苦了  You work hard (Thank you for your hard work)

wèi rén mín fú wù
B: 为 人 民 服 务 I do it for the people

2. 为 as a verb is pronounced as wéi 

以为 yǐ wéi means, ‘to think, to believe’, however, it normally used in situations where something did not turn out to be expected. 

wǒ yǐ wéi nǐ huì lái
我以为你会来

I thought you were going to come (however the reality is that you didn’t)

认为 rèn wéi also means ‘to think, to believe’, however, it is purely to express one’s opinion, the reality is not yet known. 

wǒ rèn wéi tā huì lái
我认为他会来 

I think he is going to come (its’ my opinion, the reality is not yet known)

作 为  zuò wéi  to act as a, as a

zuò wéi xué shēng, wǒ bì xū hǎo hǎo dú shū
作 为 学 生, 我 必 须 好 好 读 书. 

As a student, I must study well. 

分为 fēn wéi  to separate into, to divide into

zhè piān wén zhāng fēn wéi liǎng duàn huà
这 篇 文 章 分 为 两 段 话。

This article/essay is separated into two paragraphs. 

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  1. Mandarin Weekly #96 – Mandarin Weekly (每周中文)

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