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In my study software, I recently had the following sentence:


The context (a girl speaking to another girl who had just moved into the neighborhood) made it seem like the correct translation was something like "I think we will be going to the same school." But I had thought 一样 generally referred to things that were separate objects (though very similar), not the same exact one; and that 同一 meant "the same exact one".

For example, "these two women came to the party wearing the same dress," would use 一样, because it's two different dresses that look the same; but "These children want the same toy" would be 同一, because it's the same exact toy.

Is my understanding correct? Could I say "我想我们会上同一个学校" instead? Why or why not?

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Your understanding is correct.

You never use 一样 to refer to the same school. You can only use it to refer to two similar schools.

同一 always means the same one.

I think we will end up going to the same school = 我想我们会上同一所学校

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Is this sentence not correct? 他们不是去一样的学校吗? – xiaohouzi79 Jan 3 '12 at 23:57
@xiaohouzi79 Good point, however, I believe the meaning of this sentence is ambiguous. We may prefer to use 同一 to clear the potential ambiguity. – Terry Li Jan 4 '12 at 0:03
Strictly speaking, that actually means they are going to the same type of school (i.e. nursery, college) – prusswan Jan 6 '12 at 5:05

Note: 一个 is often used to mean 同一个. That is, 我想我们会上一个学校 can also mean 'attend the same school'.

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