It looks like they all mean "register". Are there any differences between these three words?

  • 1
    see dictionaries, e.g. bkrs: 报名 to sign up to enter one's name to apply to register to enroll to enlist 把自己的名字报告给主管的人或机关、团体等,表示愿意参加某种活动或组织:他带头报名上山下乡。 登记 [register; check in] 载入正式记录 在名单上登记,在旅馆登记住宿 check in at a hotel 在学校注册簿上登记姓名 enter names in the register of the school 该俱乐部正式登记的成员有多少? How many members have officially registered in the club? 挂号 to register (at a hospital etc) to send by registered mail挂号看病 make appointment with a doctor 请排队挂号。 Please queue up to register. (付邮时登记编号) send by registered mail: 你这封信要不要挂号? Do you want to have this letter registered? – user6065 Mar 20 '17 at 16:27
up vote 12 down vote accepted

Definitions:

报名
To fill in personal information to the organizer in order to participate in the activities. (参加活动时,向主办单位填写个人资料。)

登记
To record the relevant matters in the form or the booklet of the organizer or the competent authority; to register for a service (such as to subscribe to a delivery service or a social networking website). (将相关事项记录在主办单位或主管机关的表格或册子上。)

挂号
To get a number in order to do something in sequence. (取得编号,以便依序进行某事。)

Differences:

挂号 must involve the number, however 报名 and 登记 do not have to. (“挂号”必定牵涉到号码,而“报名”和“登记”则不一定。)

报名 usually 登记 some information, and 登记 may not be a 报名, so 登记 is broader than 报名. (“报名”通常会“登记”一些资料,而“登记”不一定是“报名”,所以“登记”的范围比较广。)

The relationship between 挂号 and 登记 is relatively close, because 挂号 usually 登记 some information in order to distinguish. (“挂号”和“登记”的关系比较密切,因为“挂号”通常要“登记”一些资料,才能区别。)

报名 and 挂号 are less relevant. We use them in different areas, and do not mix them up. (“报名”和“挂号”的关系比较小。各自用在不同的事件。我们不太会把这两个词混用。)

Examples:

报名
考试 examination or test
比赛 competition or game
培训 training or course
加入团队 to join a team

挂号
看病 to see a doctor
寄信 to send a mail
接受服务 to receive service

登记
出生死亡 birth or death
收养 adoption
结婚离婚 marriage or divorce
不动产 real estate
土地房产 land or property
车辆 vehicle
开业 to open a business

  • It looks like 挂号 usually involves getting a number back, since I also ran into a saying 拿号 in the past. Both 报名 and 登记 are register. Can I say 报名 is for registering for some events, 登记 is for registering facts? – cnwang09 Mar 23 '17 at 12:53
  • Yes, I think so. – SLS Mar 23 '17 at 13:14

报(submit); 名(name)

报名 = to apply (v)

Example: 报名入读多伦多大学 - apply to enroll to University of Toronto

~

登(enter); 记(record)

登记 = to register (v)

Example: '登记成为选民' - 'register to be a voter'

~

挂 = 指定(assigned / appointed); 号(number)

挂号 = to assign(v) / to register (v)

Examples:

'挂号信' - 'registered mail' (a letter with assigned recipient )

'挂号看医生' - 'be assigned/ registered (a number/ an appointment) to see the doctor'

  • 报名成为选民 = apply to be a voter
  • 登记成为选民 = register to be a voter
  • 挂号见选民登记官 = be assigned an appointment to see a voter registration officer

*For the meaning of 'making an appointment,' it is more common to say 预约 or 约见 (as in 约见选民登记官; 约见医生). That means the only common use of '挂号' is 'registered' as in '挂号信'(registered letter) or '信要寄挂号'(want to mail the letter registered)

  • It looks like "apply to college/university" is 申请大学,not 报名大学 – cnwang09 Mar 23 '17 at 12:38

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