Take the 2-minute tour ×
Chinese Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the Chinese language. It's 100% free, no registration required.

那个是我工作上的东西

Why is there a 上 in this sentence? How does it change the meaning? Ie, what's the difference between 工作的东西 and 工作上的东西? When should 工作上 be used as opposed to 工作?

share|improve this question

2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

here means about(相关).

Try to understand it like this: 那个是我工作相关的东西

If you omit , it'd be understand as the item used for work rather than about.

那个是我工作的东西 sounds a bit like 那个是我工作用的东西.

Anyway, both are rarely spoken for native Mandarin speakers. You'd better provide more context.

share|improve this answer
    
That sounds right. Someone I know accidentally sent me an email and I asked what it was about. –  thedoctar Mar 8 at 11:12
    
I agree, not used so often, since someone who knows you typically knows what you do and you don't need to explain your work to them. –  j5shi Mar 8 at 11:32
    
Sometimes this happens. For example, you are a professional engineer at NASA, your family would surely ask you a lot when they see your equipments. In this case you may answer 那个是我工作用的东西 or 那个是我上班用的东西 rather than 那个是我工作上的东西 –  Aw Qirui Guo Mar 9 at 1:06
    
I am not sure what you meant by 'both are rarely spoken'? Why would they be rarely spoken? –  deutschZuid Mar 12 at 22:14

Actually, there's not so much difference. 工作上的东西,工作的东西both mean something related to your work.

And actually doesn't mean too much , Chinese language is not that strict as English, you don't have to understand every word.

More examples about

-孩子,你在看什么?(Son, what' are you viewing?)
-妈妈,我在看学习上的书(Mom, I am just viewing some academical books)

share|improve this answer
    
Chinese language is not that strict as English - I agree. But I don't think Chinese people will ever say something like 我在看学习上的书. That is too weird. –  Aw Qirui Guo Mar 13 at 3:54
    
@AwQiruiGuo Well, sometimes I said it. Yes, we often said 学习方面的书. –  Ave Maleficum Mar 13 at 3:57
    
I'm just curious are you native? (please don't take it personally) I think in this particular case, a child would be more likely to say 妈妈,我在看书 or 妈妈,我在学习. Personally when using , I often use it with 事情 following, for example: 这些都是工作上的事情. –  Aw Qirui Guo Mar 13 at 4:04

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.