In that site it says 多早晚 means "When". I asked a friend from Singapore, she told me that no one uses that, and it's a mistake. I would like to know if you use it, and in which context.


  • 2
    . 早晚: sooner or later, some time in the future (see iciba and Q),with 多 in front it means "how much sooner or later" or "when", find 3 example sentences for the meaning "when" at jukuu: 1st and 2nd: 我多早晚儿说要去了?不过拿来预备着,"一会子我去了,又不知多早晚才来!" – user6065 Jan 26 '16 at 2:00
  • Never heard of that. – songyuanyao Jan 26 '16 at 2:19
  • Never heard of that either. – user58955 Jan 26 '16 at 5:10

I'm from the northeast of China. At first, I'm surprised to learn that, "多早晚" means "when". Finally I find out that, in my home town, people usually pronounce it as "多咱"(duō zǎn)to mean "when" , and I've never known the exactly written characters of that phrase till I see this question.

And I should say, I have NEVER saw this phrase in formal written Chinese. So avoid the use of this phrase in written Chinese, and also in spoken Chinese because native Chinese listeners from other parts of China may not understand the phrase.

This phrase can be used in informal situations (seems only in the northeast? maybe ), for example:

  • 咱们啥时候走?

  • 咱们duō zǎn走?

The two sentences are both ok in daily spoken situations, which mean "when will we go".

| improve this answer | |

Looks like classical Chinese.


◎ 多早晚 duōzǎowǎn

[when] 多咱,什么时候(“多咱”来于“多早晚”)





中文名 多早晚

外文名 Much sooner or later

性质 词语

来源 红楼梦

多早晚 duōzǎowǎn [when] 多咱,什么时候(“多咱”来于“多早晚”)



As the encyclopedia entry mentions 多咱 comes from 多早晚 and is in common usage in Northern China. You might be hard pressed to find usage of 多早晚 outside of 红楼梦 though.

| improve this answer | |

Yes, in Mandarin there is this meaning "when" for "多早晚". But the saying "多早晚" is not common. You could possibly hear this in northern China. It's colloquial. It's not surprising that your Singapore friend never heard of it.

| improve this answer | |

Possibly comparable, 多早晚 is similar to "when (sooner of later)".

| improve this answer | |


| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    It's better to explain it in English. – songyuanyao Jan 26 '16 at 7:03
  • This word is never used in regions like Guangzhou. – user10952 Jan 30 '16 at 4:03
  • @songyuanyao Nobody agree but you. – Hector He Mar 1 '16 at 3:37

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.