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I found the following sentence:

我正在穿上毛衣。

In this sentence, can you rephrase it as the following?:

我正在穿毛衣。

If you can rephrase it as such, is there any difference between 穿 and 穿上?

I also found the following sentence:

他正在脱衣服。

Why don't you say it as possibly 脱下 but ? In other words, why do you have to use the particle when expressing putting on, but not when expressing putting off?

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    穿 to wear, 穿上 to put on. 上 and 下 are marking the direction of an action, one of the core specialties of Chinese grammar. – Drunken Master Jul 3 '15 at 19:40
  • @DrunkenMaster So in this case is not the particle and 穿上 is the independent, unitary verb? – Blaszard Jul 3 '15 at 20:03
  • extended meaning:cf。带上 :别忘了带上你的护照。"实用现代汉语语法"549页 二、各趋向补语所表示的意义分述[上]3。结果意义(一)基本结果意义:表示接触、附着以至固定。例如:1。请你把门关上。2。我用一块布把电视机蒙上了。3。去年我出差到重庆,正赶上八月十五。4。今天外边很冷,把大衣穿上吧。!!!5。我今天一出门就遇上了一场大雨。6。前边有一个虫子,小心别踩上。7。请在卡片上写上你的名字。8。冰箱温度低了,牛奶冻上冰了。9。他把电脑折了,自己又装上了。10。他看上了那个女孩,可是那个女孩觉得他比不上她以前的男朋友。4。结果意义(二):表示实现了预期的或希望达到的目的。例如:他终于买上了他喜欢的汽车。2。我弟弟去年好不容易考上了大学。3。这个村子的居民去年才用上水。4。他借了很多钱,一直还不上。"上"的这个结果意义是一种口语用法。5。状态意义:表示动作或状态的开始。例如:1。老师刚说了一句话,学生们就议论上了。2。小明,我叫你睡觉,你怎么又唱上了。3。这个孩子时间抓得很紧,刚下课回到家,又用上功了。4。你不是在上学吗,怎么做上生意了? – user6065 Jul 4 '15 at 3:45
  • @Gardecolo I don't think 穿上 is a unitary verb, it is a verb with complement, marking the direction ("the clothes are 'getting' ON you") and to some extent, the result ("now you are having clothes ON you as a result of the action") of the action. But since dictionaries list 穿上, you can think of it as a vocabulary item. – Drunken Master Jul 4 '15 at 6:20
  • 脱下 as well as 脱掉 can be used (taking off clothes) to emphasize result,it seems 穿上 does not necessarily have to be translated as "put on", but could also be translated as "wear", (cf. extended meaning of complements of direction like 上), cf. iciba: 4. His mother looked ten years younger in jeans and flats. 他妈妈穿上牛仔裤和平跟鞋,看上去年轻了10岁。 来自柯林斯例句 5. In a pinstriped suit he instantly looked like a stuffed shirt. 穿上一套细条纹西装后,他马上就显得一本正经起来,also note 穿着,戴着 wear, have on, 戴上 is also possible, 戴 can be used by itself,e.g. 戴眼镜, – user6065 Jul 4 '15 at 7:58
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穿 and 穿上 are usually like English 'wear' and 'put on'. The sentence 我正在穿上毛衣 means 'I am putting on a/the/my sweater'; I think this is quite unambiguous. The sentence 我正在穿毛衣 is a little bit odd (to me), but can be interpreted as 'I am wearing a sweater'.

穿上 is an action, which has a beginning, middle, and end. 穿 is often a state, if you like, with no beginning or end. Not always of course: for example, in imperative sentences like 趕快穿衣服! "Hurry up and get dressed!" the 'hurry up' makes the non-stative meaning clear. You don't HAVE to use 穿上 to mean 'put on' then, but it helps make the action/state distinction explicit.

脫 'to remove (clothing)' is unambiguously an action to begin with, so it doesn't need a resultative ending to disambiguate it. 脫下 is possible of course; to me it emphasizes both completion (clothes no longer on me) and a more detailed process. One example: I might use 脫 for removing shoes, 脫下 for a suit (jacket and pants).

  • 脫 'to remove (clothing)' is unambiguously an action to begin with, so it doesn't need a resultative ending to disambiguate it. That's plausible. I didn't notice it, thanks. – Blaszard Jul 7 '15 at 21:48

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