I've read these sentences in my Rosetta Stone courses:


However, why does the first sentence use two consecutively before taking the object? Also, how can I tell when to use one verb and when to use two verbs?

And finally, does the 请洗你的袜子 make sense in Mandarin? If that does make sense and is used often, what's the difference between the two?

  • like: 看: look; 看看, 看一看, 看一下: take a look.
    – xenophōn
    Commented Aug 18, 2017 at 10:11

2 Answers 2


quotation from 外国人实用汉语语法: (1) the reduplication of a verb implies a short and quick action

(2) expresses an attempt or trial

(3)expresses a sense of being light and relaxed

and the same goes for [verb] +一下

请洗你的袜子 seems to make sense in Mandarin

  • 请洗洗你的袜子=Pls try washing your socks. This sentence is somehow full of malice... Commented Oct 24, 2014 at 21:53
  • @JosephSWU, it might not be socks... I don't remember, but didn't double-check it out since I think it is not really the topic of this question...
    – Blaszard
    Commented Oct 26, 2014 at 3:14

I'm a Chinese. I hope this will help you:

请洗洗你的袜子 is an imperative sentence.

洗洗 (the same meaning of 洗一洗/洗一下) is a united verb. It's meaning is "wash". The same of “洗”

But, this wash (洗洗/洗一洗/洗一下) means "Hey, I need you to wash the socks." And “请洗你的袜子” is an ungrammatical sentence. Because 洗 always means "Okay, I'm washing them now." or "The socks are washed."

In addition, I would like to share you a little useful tip:

了/过 followed the verb means the event has been done and these two words can be combined. So “袜子已经洗过了” means "The socks have been already washed."

Sometimes we will say “快把袜子洗了”("Wash the socks quickly"). The 了 here have an implicit meaning of "the event will BE IN THE PAST". It's one of the forms of imperative sentence also.

有什么不懂的可以回复,我会尽量解答(If you have doubt about that, just comment below. I will help you as I can.)


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