I met with a structure of this type many times during last days, so I wonder:

What is the meaning of "[verb] 一 [verb]"?

For instance:

  • 想一想
  • 看一看
  • 等一等
  • search this site, find many relevant/pertinent answers
    – user6065
    Commented Jan 14, 2017 at 9:56
  • for previous discussions of this topic, search Q&A using "看一看"and also see answer by user6065 (quotation from 外国人实用汉语语法) in chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/10046/…
    – user6065
    Commented Jan 15, 2017 at 6:44

2 Answers 2


It means "for a moment", in other words, doing the action for a short time only.

讓我看一看 ==> Let me see(for a moment). 你可以想一想 ==> You may think(for a moment).

It is often used as suggestion to the speaker with mild imperative.

看一看吧! ==> Just look(for a moment)!


Duplication of words is very common in Chinese. It doesn't have much grammatical meaning but it adds a little emphasis.

Sometimes, especially for Chinese spoken in Singapore (my native tongue), the order [verb][verb][particle] is used more often for better cohesion.

For example: 让我想想一下吧! (Usually 让我想一想吧!)--> Please let me think for a moment. 你的伤这么严重,让我看看!(Usually 你的伤这么严重,让我看一看!) --> Your injury is very serious, let me see.

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