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I'm interested in the usage of the term 离开 as in " to leave". If, for example, I was traveling with another person on the underground (train) and I left them/we separated (to take different trains) would it be considered

我离开他?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Yes, but I probably would use 分开 in your example if I wanted to emphasise the fact that we separated (and that it was a mutual act). For instance:

我们在那个地铁站分开,因为他要去医院而我要去百货商店。

We separated at the train station, because he needed to go to the hospital, but I needed to go to the department store.

But saying 离开某人 can also work. For instance, when the separation is more "one-sided" (in terms of how it's described), it makes sense to use 离开. For example:

我离开我妈妈之后,我去了加拿大读研究生院。

After I left my mother, I went to Canada to attend graduate school.

At the very least, this usage makes sense to me as a semi-native speaker of Chinese. Notice that the connotations of 离开 and 分开 are somewhat different. Moreover, 分开 wouldn't be used with an object to state A left B - rather, it would be used to state A and B separated.

I could also use 离开 in the original setting as well, but mostly in situations similar to the one I described above. For instance:

在地铁站离开他之后,我去了百货商店。

我在那个地铁站离开我朋友,因为我要去厕所。

But 我离开他 (as a sentence in itself) sounds odd without any appropriate qualifications to the statement. Moreover, using 离开 to state something like 我在地铁站离开他,因为我们坐不同的地铁线 sounds odd to me (because the subordinate clause focuses on 我们).

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Sounds weird. 分开 is a lot better.

Your sentence would be 我们分开了 - we split up - and not I left him.

Oxford

VERB

1 不聚在一起 part

人群分开让他通过。

The crowd parted to let him through.

2 使分开 separate

分开两个拳击手

separate two boxers

政企分开

separate government from enterprise

这两件事要分开来解决。

These two issues should be dealt with separately.

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It seems 分开 can be used with preposition/coverb "跟"to refer to who is being left(departed from),but then it may sound more sentimental(?)just as 离开:跟人,物或地方分开: 我跟他分开了 cf。【 跟她分开 】 【 歌词 】,"和" is also possible:和姐姐分开对约翰来说有好处。 iciba,has examples of 离开<某人> but only in the sense of 离开(关系亲密的人) 1. VERB 离开(某处或某人):我就是受不了要离开我的小女儿。3. VERB 抛下,离弃(配偶);离开(关系亲密的人)他不会离开你的,你不用担心。要是比尔为了别的女人离开我,我会醋意大发。

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