金钱 is just 钱 with an added 金 but both mean "money". Are there any semantics or grammar differences between the two? Also, 款 seems to also mean money. I know 款 is usually used after 贷 but can it also be used similarly to the other two (节约款/时间就是款/有款的人)?

  • If you use it in speech or in average writings, use 钱. It you use it to talk about some reasonings or principles in life, use 金钱
    – user13501
    Jul 14, 2016 at 17:32
  • 1
    cf。CCG Ch。26 Prosody and Syntax,26,4.1 'Verb + object' patterns (a) monosyllabic verb + monosyllabic object, e.g. 看书 (b)disyllabic verb + disyllabic object, e.g. 浏览书籍 (c)monosyllabic verb + disyllabic object, e.g. 看电影(d)*disyllabic verb + monosyllabic object e.g. *浏览书 (d)is invalid not only because it violates the end weight syntactic principle but also because a syntactically 'verb + object' pattern coincides with the characteristic of a trisyllabic lexeme in the language, thus leading to a conflict in semantic expectations, e.g. 说明书,电子书。-> 缺钱,缺乏金钱,缺金钱 are all valid,but *缺乏钱 would not be。
    – user6065
    Jul 14, 2016 at 18:29

6 Answers 6


节约款 is not widely seen, but there are some examples.


The first 款 means style, pattern. But I am not sure if it's a cheap style or a slim style.

The second 款 means money. The context says a hospital takes measures to cut the cost and the surplus is given to the staff as a bonus.

时间就是款 is an improper use.

有款的人 does not mean a wealthy man. This 款 means model, style, fashion. 有款的人 refers to someone who is good at dressing up.


錢 (n) money

** less formal form of 金錢

金錢 (n) money ; (adj.) monetary

** more formal form of 錢


有錢 - have money ; rich; wealthy

等錢使 - in need of money

浪費金錢 - waste money

金錢損失 - monetary lost

金錢補償 - monetary compensation

款/款項 (n) sum of money

巨款 - huge sum of money

現款 - a sum of money in cash

提款 - withdraw a sum of money


In terms of usage here are the common use for those words.

金钱 = Usually represent wealth in writing.

時間就是金錢 (time is money)
我的金錢 (my wealth)

钱 = Money
Most common form of money

多少钱 (how much)

款 usually means fund (in terms of money)

for example: 
信用卡还款 -- credit card transferring (funds)
退款- refund

钱 is more informal than the other two. (In general if there is a single character form and a two character form, the two character form is more formal.)

款 is also used in 贷款, which means loan. Generally 款 does not imply money that you have so much as simply money that you are using. 款 can in some situations have a negative connotation while 钱 is neutral.


@Tang Ho your anwsers are correct However,

In my opinion, Teaching chinese should use mandarin and not should use cantonese

It will be produce much misunderstanding meanwhile foreigners can't understand this different between mandarin and cantonese.


錢 => 钱

等錢使 => 等钱用

浪費金錢 => 浪费金钱

金錢損失 => 金钱损失

金錢補償 => 金钱补偿

款/款項 => 款/款项

巨款 => 巨款

現款 => 现金

提款 => 提款


There is no difference between 錢 and 金錢 as you said. In usage, 錢 is more common than 金錢 and is usually used by people, e.g., 給我錢, 多少錢, 沒有錢, 很有錢. And 金錢 is sometimes used to be made sentence, e.g., 時間就是金錢, 親情是無法被金錢取代的, 金錢不是萬能的. But those both are meaning money.

On the other hand, 款 can mean money and it always used to a specific purpose, e.g., 款項, 工程款, 貸款, 頭期款, 募款, 專款. By the way, 款 also has another meaning though.


"钱" is usually means money, which you spend to buy what you want.

"金钱" i is the written language of money. It also emphasizes "钱" is valuable.

"款" usually is not a complete word, it is a morpheme. The meaning of "款" is different in different words. For example:

  • 取款 withdrawl money, "款" usually means cash
  • 巨款 large amount of currency
  • 被罚款 been fined, "款" means money

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