Is it okay to say both 冷清清 and 冷清冷清? Can adjectives that can be used into ABB be also used into ABAB or, in a certain case, AABB?

  • 冷清, 冷清清 and 冷冷清清 all in dictionaries, AABB is the usual form of duplication for adjectives (ABAB for verbs), cf. bkrs:冷清清 cold and dreary; cold and cheerless; desolate cold and cheerless fig. lonely unfrequented冷冷清清 cold and cheerless; desolate, see grammars for some adjectives with duplication ABAB, search Q&A for previous discussions at this site
    – user6065
    Oct 28, 2017 at 5:59
  • Would you teach me how I can duplicate 土气? Oct 28, 2017 at 6:02
  • @HarutoNagasaki, usually we don't duplicate 土气,just 土气.
    – dan
    Oct 28, 2017 at 6:04
  • Is 土气土气 possible, though? Oct 28, 2017 at 6:04
  • 1
    土气 or 土里土气, I have never saw 土气土气.
    – sfy
    Oct 28, 2017 at 11:47

1 Answer 1


Simple answer: No, you can't.
Extended answer:
In this example, no. 冷冷清清 is the only right expression in common usage.
Most of the time, ABB words can't be converted to AABB form. However, there ARE some exceptions. Example: 大咧咧/大大咧咧.
Also, I can't think of an ABB word that can be converted to ABAB form.
土气 is so unnatural when you convert them to ABB, AABB or ABAB form. They're simply wrong. However, 土里土气 is a right expression.

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