Similarly,how do express "The interest of doing sth is at..." like a native speaker.

For example,

The interest of learning a foreign language is ...


The happiness of studying mathematics is ...

(I imagine that my expression is much too Chinglish.)

  • Sorry but I don't understand what concept you're trying to express. Could you add some explanation of it? Maybe some examples? If you try to say it more than once, we'll probably get the idea. – David Richerby Jul 31 '18 at 14:38
  • @DavidRicherby Sorry,i just noticed this.I have this question since there are two different expressions to show why do you like doing something in Chinese language.Their meanings are very close,but still have some nuances.One of them is 'The interest of doing something 是...'.('是' is the Chinese equivalent to 'be'.)The second of them is 'The interest of doing something 在于...'.(‘在于...’ means 'at...',like '在于somewhere' or '在于someplace'.)So i wonder if there are two correspondant expressions in English. – dubina Aug 3 '18 at 20:36
  • @DavidRicherby And i know that there is an expression in English ——'The differences lie in ...'.So i wonder if there is an expression like 'The interest of doing something lies in...' – dubina Aug 3 '18 at 20:44
  • @DavidRicherby Guess my explanation is confusing.lol.It's OK whether i can get the answer or not.Thanks a lot. – dubina Aug 3 '18 at 20:48
  • @dubina There are many ways to say "exist" in English other than just "is". I guess it's not clear whether your question focuses on the main part of the sentence, or in the "to be" verb (是 vs. 在于). Which would you like to know? – Andrew Aug 7 '18 at 2:56

There are many more academic or literary ways to express something "exists" in English other than using "is". I don't speak Chinese, but Google Translate says 在于 means lie in, rest, depend, reside, or be determined by, all of which are (more or less) ways to say "exists".

For example:

The ubiquity of alcohol in human cultures worldwide lies in the fact that you can make it out of almost anything, and that its effects are relatively mild, pleasurable, and temporary.

In the above sentence, some reason ("the fact that you can make it out of almost anything, etc.") is the basis for some fact ("the ubiquity of alcohol"). In the same sentence, we could use some of the others mentioned above:

The ubiquity of alcohol ... rests in the fact that ...

The ubiquity of alcohol ... resides in the fact that ...

The ubiquity of alcohol ... depends on the fact that ...

There are others, too many to list, but some examples:

The ubiquity of alcohol ... is based in the fact that ...

The ubiquity of alcohol ... is rooted in the fact that ...

As you might expect, all of these can add a subtle nuance. For example, "rooted in" is a tree metaphor, suggesting a deep connection, like the roots of a tree. Alternately:

The ubiquity of alcohol ... hinges on the fact that ...

"Hinges on" metaphorically refers to the hinge of a doorway, without which the door would not be able to move. So it means "is a critical factor of".

In your examples:

The value in learning a foreign language lies not just in the fact that you can express yourself in a different code, but that you actually learn to think in a different way.

The joy in studying mathematics rests in the ability to take an abstract, nebulous reality, and turn it into a set of simple, consistent, and beautiful equations.

  • Thanks so much!! This is exactly what i was looking for.Thanks again! – dubina Aug 7 '18 at 15:54

For the second one, as a native speaker, I would render it as "The joy of studying …" or "The joy in studying …" if you're trying to express why it brings you happiness. You might also use "The beauty/advantage of studying mathematics is that you also learn how to approach non-mathematical problems." (or the like) if you're trying to express what advantages and side-effects it has.

For the first one, I'd go with "the advantage". "The advantage of learning a foreign language is that it opens you up to new ways of thinking." if you're trying to express why someone in general would want to do it. If you're trying to express your personal reasons, you might say "I'm interested in learning a foreign language because …" or "I'm learning a foreign language because …", depending on whether you were investigating the idea (the first phrasing) or actually currently doing so (the second phrasing).

  • I came across a sentence just now——‘Where's the joy in that?’.(Black Mirror S04E06 60:25) Could you please tell me how to answer this question?(Since i reckon that there are some nuances between 'Where's the joy in that' and 'What's the joy of that'.)Thanks a lot. – dubina Jul 30 '18 at 14:36
  • @Dubina Generally, you would ask this as a separate question. "Where's the joy in that?" is idiomatic, and equivalent to "Where's the fun in that?" It acknowledges that yes, rationally, a different choice might be more efficient and effective, but this one was chosen precisely because of its other effects, such as allowing someone to act out or allow chance to play a part. "Instead of rolling dice over the entire cake, you could just split it between you." "Yeah, but where's the fun in that?"; other example: "You could look up the answer instead of solving it." "But where's the joy in that?" – JKreft Jul 30 '18 at 19:31

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