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What is the Difference Between 方法 and 办法?

up vote 14 down vote favorite

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 powerlessness. Aside from being more common in colloquial speech, does this make 办法 more general? Anecdotally, 方法 is encountered frequently in instructions. Does this make 方法 more technical?

2 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accept

方法:method 办法:solution

Translate this way for every context, it'll simply make sense.

up vote 3 down vote

To translate simply, 方法 means "method" / "manner" / "means" (as you said), and 办法 means "solution".

Note, however, that 办法 only applies to solutions that involve a plan of action. You cannot, for example, call x = 3 a 办法 to the equation x + 7 = 10. Rather, that would be a 答案 ("answer").


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What is the Difference Between 方法 and 办法?

up vote 14 down vote

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 powerlessness. Aside from being more common in colloquial speech, does this make 办法 more general? Anecdotally, 方法 is encountered frequently in instructions. Does this make 方法 more technical?


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up vote 9 down vote

方法:method 办法:solution

Translate this way for every context, it'll simply make sense.

edit

Enlightening! But what is your source of credibility? college.columbia.edu/academics/integrity-sourcecredibility - George Chen Sep 23 at 7:13

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