Questions about two or more expressions with a similar meaning.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

29
votes
7answers
2k views

What is the difference between 作 and 做?

作 and 做 are both translated as "to do" or "to make"; how can I tell when I should use one or the other?
2
votes
2answers
102 views

What is the difference between 受 and 收?

They both can mean "to receive". It seems as if 受 has a more negative connotation than 收 but I'm 100% sure about the exact usage differences.
2
votes
2answers
108 views

What is the difference between 认为 and 以为?

They both mean "to think" or "to consider". Is there a usage difference between the two?
1
vote
1answer
74 views

What is the difference between 看法 and 想法?

Both can mean "view/idea/opinion". For example, I can say: 对这个问题有两种不同的看法 (there are two different view on this question) Would it be reasonable to replace "看法" with "想法"?
0
votes
2answers
60 views

Difference between 办法, 方法, and 方式?

From what I know, they all mean similar things (way, method), but 方式 can also mean style which makes it similar to 样式. Is there a difference in the way they are used grammatically or is the difference ...
9
votes
2answers
431 views

What is the difference between 夜(yè) and 晚 (wǎn)?

Both characters mean night, also when they are together, when is it better to use each character ? For example: Beautiful night: 美丽的夜 can be rephrased to 美丽的晚 ? Good night: 晚安 to 夜安 ?
11
votes
7answers
897 views

What's the difference between 星期X and 周X?

When accepting an answer, I noticed that the example used the word 周三 for Wednesday, but in my grammar, the days of the week are 星期一, 星期二, etc... They seem both correct but, what's the difference? ...
25
votes
9answers
2k views

What is the difference between 狗 and 犬?

狗 (gǒu) and 犬 (quǎn) both mean "dog" and both seem relatively common, but is there any difference between them? When should I use one and when should I use the other?
7
votes
5answers
1k views

What is the Difference Between 方法 and 办法?

Both have comparable definitions of "method", "manner", "means", etc. and describe or define a way of doing something. The phrase 没(有)办法 is often used to deflect responsibility by claiming ...
1
vote
3answers
81 views

Difference between 谦虚 and 虚心?

In my Chinese textbook, 谦虚好学 is used, and 虚心求教 is used as well. They both mean modest, so when should I use each one?
2
votes
1answer
47 views

What is the difference (and english translation) between 风浪 and 涌浪?

As far as I can tell, 风浪 is waves created by wind, and 涌浪 would be waves created by tidal movements or surge waves. However, this is a very bulky way to describe them. What is the English for this ...
15
votes
8answers
435 views

Why is 两 used for quantities of two rather than 二?

I understand that 两 is used instead of 二 when dealing with quantities of two. However, my question is - why? What are the historical reasons behind this? I looked at Wikitionary but it only had ...
2
votes
4answers
114 views

Difference between 沒轍, 莫可奈何,沒辦法

Can anyone help me with any differences between those words? C-E dictionaries say "there's no way out" or "nothing can be done" for all of them, C-C dictionaries say about the same. However, I was ...
0
votes
1answer
127 views

In how many ways can we say “go straight ahead”?

I have heard 一直走(Yīzhí) and 往前(wǎng qián)走, but it seems the online translators prefer 一直往前走(Yīzhí wǎng qián zǒu) or 一直向(xiàng)前走 (if we're going forward)... From the above which are the most ...
10
votes
4answers
266 views

What's the difference between 帐户 and 账户?

To my understanding, both mean "account", as in a bank account or online account. 账户 also appears to be the more common (100M search results) compared to 帐户 (about 50M results). What is the ...
2
votes
1answer
156 views

What is an idiom that describes aiming for high achievement or success but not forgetting one's roots?

What is an idiom/phrase/saying that describes aiming for high achievement or success but not forgetting one's roots? Something like 展翅高飞 and 饮水思源 combined
6
votes
7answers
1k views

How to distinguish between rat and mouse in Chinese?

I know there are two words here: 老鼠 and 鼠. However, the dictionary states that 老鼠 (rat) can also mean mouse; how do you specify rat? I imagine that 仓鼠 (hamster) and 沙鼠 (gerbil) are often abbreviated ...
1
vote
3answers
92 views

Synonyms of (不会)少块肉?

I'm quite fond of the phrase 少块肉, as in 又不会少块肉 or 能少块肉吗?. What synonyms of 少块肉 exist in Chinese?
1
vote
1answer
53 views

枕头 versus 垫子, are these different?

I've come across these two words in a picture-book. Are 枕头 and 垫子 the same kind of pillow or are they different kinds of pillow?
7
votes
1answer
368 views

Is 上下 always interchangeable with 左右?

Example sentence 1: 他的汉语能力已经达到了HSK 11级左右的程度。 Example sentence 2: 他貌似30岁上下年纪。 While 左右 sounds more natural (to me) in 1 and 上下 in 2, we can interchange them and the two sentences would ...
9
votes
4answers
315 views

What's the difference between 遇到 and 碰到?

Both 遇到 and 碰到 can be translated to "come across/run into" in those sentences: 遇到大学同学了。 碰到大学同学了。 What's the difference between 遇到 and 碰到?
3
votes
3answers
199 views

Are 改正 and 纠正 interchangeable?

Both 改正 and 纠正 mean "to correct" or "to make right." What is the difference between these words? Do they have different connotations? Are both words acceptable in sentences like the following? ...
1
vote
2answers
299 views

What's the difference between 说 and 讲?

It seems that in most cases, the two are interchangeable. For example: Is it 說 /说 / shuō or 講 / 讲 / jiǎng for "to speak a language"? Apart from fixed phrases, when would you use one rather ...
1
vote
1answer
65 views
16
votes
6answers
948 views

Difference between 如果 and 要是?

In the Pimsleur Mandarin course it uses 如果 (rúguǒ) to mean 'if', but the dictionary shows 要是 (yàoshì) to have a similar meaning: 如果: if; in case; in the event that 要是: if Are there any ...
5
votes
1answer
124 views

Introduction. What's the difference between 介绍, 简介, 入门, 引导, 导语, 导论, 引子?

I've seen 介绍, 简介 and 导语 in news pieces, which labels a one sentence synopsis of the article. Is there any difference between these three? 介绍, 简介 look to be interchangeable, and used commonly like 介绍 ...
4
votes
3answers
201 views

Difference between 继续 and 接着

I learned 接着 a while ago, and the CEDICT definition is as follows: to catch and hold on / to continue / to go on to do sth / to follow / to carry on / then / after that / subsequently / to proceed ...
5
votes
2answers
105 views

Do 衣服 and 衣饰 carry different connotations or are they synonyms?

衣服 and 衣饰 both mean "clothing"; but are they truly synonymous or is the use of each term confined to its own specific context? Or is it simply a difference between colloquial and formal speech or ...
6
votes
6answers
746 views

What is the difference between 餐馆 and 饭店? Is 饭店 used for restaurant or hotel?

饭店 and 餐馆 can both mean restaurant. My Chinese friend here in Dongguan tells me 饭店 is not commonly used to mean hotel. I want to understand in what contexts both of these words are used. 谢谢.
1
vote
3answers
224 views

時刻 (shíkè) vs 瞬間 (shùnjiān) vs 時候 (shíhòu) for “moment”

As a beginner I'd like to learn the most useful word to express the equivalent to English “moment” meaning “a very brief period of time.” I've found at least three Chinese words and would like to ...
10
votes
3answers
521 views

Do 之 and 的 come from the same word?

In modern Chinese 之 is thought of as the literary genitive particle and 的 as the colloquial. In most reconstructions of Old Chinese 之 looks very similar to the way 的 is pronounced now. For example in ...
1
vote
5answers
386 views

What does “大概” mean? Are there any words with the same meaning?

I looked up in the dictionary, there are 12 meanings for it! well aiblins anywhere belike supposedly probably prob. maybe mayhap presumedly presumably ordinarily somewhere easily mainly Just ...
11
votes
4answers
981 views

Confusion about bian 邊 and miàn 面

I'm having a little trouble with learning directions and positions. It seems that most often the word bian is being used to indicate a position: front side 前邊, back side 後邊, etc. But then I see stuff ...
4
votes
3answers
720 views

Is there a most usual way to say “hand sanitizer” in Chinese?

I'm finding in the non-touristy places in China where I'm spending my time in cheaper places etc that there's often no place to wash your hands, or it's dirty, or there's no soap. I've been ...
5
votes
5answers
313 views

Differences between the two words for each season, such as 冬季 (dōngjì) and 冬天 (dōngtiān)

There seem to be two words for each season. Each pair has the first character in common but for the second character one will have 季 (jì) and the other will have 冬天 (tiān). For example "winter" is: ...
3
votes
3answers
301 views

Is it 說 /说 / shuō or 講 / 讲 / jiǎng for “to speak a language”?

I've realized that I still don't know the way to talk about "speaking a language", for instance the Chinese equivalents to sentences like these: Do you speak English? I can speak a little Chinese. ...
11
votes
5answers
1k views

Difference between 特色, 特點, 特性, 特質, and 特徵

Looking up these five words in dictionaries gives results that are almost identical. In Chinese-English dictionaries, I find explanations identical or very close to: a characteristic; a ...
5
votes
2answers
123 views

“便利商店” (biànlì shāngdiàn) vs “便利店” (biànlì diàn)

Earlier when I was in China I learned "便利店" (biànlì diàn) to mean "convenience store". I think from looking it up in the English Wiktionary. But now that I'm in Taiwan when I used it people didn't ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

“不客气” (bù kèqì) vs “谢谢你” (xièxiè nǐ)

At home in Australia my neighbouring shop owners are from Shanghai and taught me some Chinese. From them I learned two ways of responding to "谢谢" (xièxiè): "不客气" (bù kèqì) "谢谢你" (xièxiè nǐ) So I ...
6
votes
1answer
129 views

Which term is used for “oyster” in Taiwan?

According to the English Wiktionary there are four Chinese terms equivalent to English "oyster": mǔlì : 牡蠣 / 牡蛎 hǎilìzi : 海蠣子 háo : 蚝 háozi : 蚝子 Is one of these standard or most common in Taiwan? ...
8
votes
5answers
288 views

Are there sentences where 跟 and 和 are interchangeable?

For example: 我跟朋友去公园了。 我和朋友去公园了。 Are both of these sentences correct? Are there any subtle differences in the meaning conveyed? If they are not entirely interchangeable, how do we know which one ...
7
votes
3answers
474 views

Difference between 各 and 每?

I'm used to using 每 for every. However, 各 came up one day and appears to me to have the exactly same meaning. Is there a contextual difference between the two that I am missing or can they be swapped ...
2
votes
1answer
254 views

Are there any differences between these Chinese terms for “French fries” / (hot) “chips”?

I just felt like some French fries for the first time since I've been in China so I bought some from a Dico's here in Zhangjiakou. I ordered by pointing at the menu becuase I'm just beginning at ...
6
votes
3answers
188 views

What's the difference between “大衣” (dàyī), “外套” (wàitào), and “外衣” (wàiyī) - which can all be translated to “coat”?

As I need to buy some cold weather clothes now that I'm heading further north than Xi'an I tried to look up the word for "coat". I found there are at least these three terms: 大衣 (dàyī) 外套 (wàitào) ...
7
votes
3answers
270 views

What's the relationship between 炮 and 砲?

炮 and 砲 both mean "cannon", but it seems the former is much more common, and the latter only really seen in Xiangqi. Is there a difference in meaning? For example, on wikipedia it is said that 砲 ...
8
votes
2answers
251 views

Does “坊” also mean “square”, “plaza”, “piazza” like “广场”?

Where I am in Kunming there is a square that seems to go by two names: 金碧广场, Jīn bì guǎngchǎng, "Golden Square" 金马碧鸡坊, Jīnmǎ bì jī fang, "Golden Horse and Green Rooster Square" When I look ...
9
votes
4answers
256 views

Difference between 同一 and 一样

I would like to know when to use 同一 and when to use 一样 when describing items or people as similar? What is the difference in usage between these two phrases?
5
votes
2answers
403 views

Meaning of 白 in words for “nonsense”?

There are a number of Chinese words containing the 白 character that all mean "nonsense" or "speaking nonsense": 白呼 夸白 白话 What's the significance of 白 in these words? 白 usually means ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

中文 vs. 汉语: What's the difference?

Apparently, both of these mean Chinese, and the Chinese language. I gather that 中文 is maybe more like "written Chinese," and 汉语 is "spoken Chinese." Is this correct? I've often looked at BBC ...
4
votes
2answers
145 views

What is the difference between 试验 and 实验?

Both 试验 and 实验 seems to be translated into "experiment". What is the difference between the two words? Can they be used interchangeably or not?