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For example, what's the difference between 那边儿 and 那边? When writing in Chinese do I need the 儿 because I've heard people say both.

  • You shouldn't, it's dialectal in most instances. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erhua – user4452 Apr 18 '16 at 15:33
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    It's up to you, but in writing this is redundant, unless you explicitly want to emphasize this or are proud of your Beijing accent. Better omit 儿 where you can, it does not add any meaning, just one more character to type or write. – Drunken Master Apr 18 '16 at 15:38
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儿 is Pekingese (beijing dialect), like "lah" in singlish (singapore english).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beijing_dialect

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singlish#Lah

in general, you don't need to write it; unless you want to impress readers that it's pekingese.

  • what if I'm saying 他在那儿 or 他在这儿? Is the 儿 still necessary? – Chris Gong Apr 18 '16 at 16:48
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    if it's "as suffix" (綴), not necessary, have a look 國語辭典: dict.revised.moe.edu.tw/cgi-bin/cbdic/… – 水巷孑蠻 Apr 18 '16 at 19:26
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    @ChrisG 那儿 and 这儿 can be and usually are written as 那里 and 这里, so you can drop the 儿. The only cases where 儿 is not negotiable are 女儿,儿子, 婴儿, etc. i.e. where 儿 is used in it's original meaning (son, child). – Drunken Master Apr 18 '16 at 19:33
  • I was told today that 一会儿 needs the 儿 but I've heard people saying it without the 儿 ? – Chris Gong Apr 21 '16 at 5:51
  • 「一會兒」也作「會子」、「會兒」、「一會」、「一會子」。 i would say that 兒 is not a must in this situation. 國語辭典: dict.revised.moe.edu.tw/cgi-bin/cbdic/… – 水巷孑蠻 Apr 21 '16 at 6:08
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Well 儿 can appear in formal language. We Chinese speakers don't really care so much. Actually it can mean something different with or without 儿 in different contexts.

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when you writing an essays or something like that, or in a informal communication(daily chat) you can use “儿” as you like ,but in some formal case, especially writing documents,you'd better not use it,

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