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每隔一周 means "every two weeks" or "every other week" in English. So, it looks like “每隔 x” is equivalent to "every x+1" in English.

However, I noticed many online dictionaries have 每隔两天 equivalent to "every two days". But I thought 每隔两天 should be "every three days". Can anyone explain?

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    每隔X at an interval of X in between, bkrs:每隔 固定间隔一段时间。at intervals of every (so often)他们每隔三天见一次。 They see each other once every three days.一路公共汽车每隔3分钟就有一班。 There’s a Number One bus every three minutes. 改 每隔四小时喝十滴。 Take ten drops every four hours. 墨西哥城大约每隔十年降一次雪。About once in ten years snow ... "汉语水平考试词典"隔[义2]时间或空间上有离距;间隔(at a distance from;after or at an interval of):~日|~夜|你~几天再去|北京和天津相~一百多公里。 If a particular repetitive eve. lasts for about one week, then "at intervals of 1 week" may mean every other week. If an event lasts about a day each time then, 每隔两天 may mean every 3 days. – user6065 Dec 2 '17 at 21:23
  • it does not have to last for a whole time period (week,day) as long as such a period is reserved for it – user6065 Dec 2 '17 at 21:43
  • To avoid any ambiguity may say 每+数词 + (个)+ 时期 + 一次,once every + numeral +(time period)s (whether or not use CL 个 depends on "时期", 天、年:no 个,月:个,see e。 g。chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/27695/…) e.g. iciba Leap year recurs every four years.每四年闰年一次. re answer: dictionaries are hardly ever wrong – user6065 Dec 3 '17 at 1:24
  • zhidao.baidu.com/question/166886639.html 每隔两天,就是第三天 – user3306356 Dec 3 '17 at 1:37
  • zhidao.baidu.com/question/10521962.html every three days – user3306356 Dec 3 '17 at 1:38
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Tricky that. I think you are right and the dictionaries are wrong!

间隔: gap, interval 隔开: separate

每 间隔 一周 every gap 1 week: Something happens week 1, not week 2, again week 3

每 间隔 两天 every gap 2 days: Something happens day 1, not day 2, not day 3, again day 4

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    I also feel "每隔" and "每" are not the same. "每隔两天" means "something happens day 1, not day 2, not day 3, again day 4". “每两天” means "something happens day 1, not day 2, again day 3". – cnwang09 Dec 3 '17 at 17:37
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    Agree! Definitely not the same. 每两天一次, every second day 1 time, 每隔两天一次 every third day one time. (really 'after an interval of 2 days again 1 time) . Also the maximum duration of an event in this expression is limited to the time period used, here day. Otherwise we would need a more complicated expression. I often think Chinese is more penetratingly perspicacious than English. "每隔两天" is a good example. – Pedroski Dec 3 '17 at 23:32
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每隔 means "every". It can be used as "每隔" + quantity + unit.

For example:

- every + 2 + days = 每隔+两(2)+天

I drink a cup of coffee every two days. = 我每隔2天喝一杯咖啡。

This means you consume a cup of coffee every 48 hour interval.

- every 500 meters = 每隔 + 五百(500) + 米

I stop every 500 meters. = 我每隔500米停一次。

It means you stop at 500 meters, and stop again when you reach 1000 meters.

In conclusion, as my understanding, "每隔两天" means "every 2 days"(not 3). However, your concern is legit. It is a vague way of saying things. Thus, if it is a more serious situation (e.g. contract), instead of a day to day conversation, you should clarify.

  • Using your formula 每隔 + quantity + unit, this is what I have seen: if quantity=1, then 每隔 + quantity + unit=every x+1 unit; if quantity>1, then 每隔 + quantity + unit=every x unit. I feel I am learning math, not Chinese now. :) – cnwang09 Dec 3 '17 at 17:09
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    If the unit is distance instead of time, then I think it depends on the length of the subject. For example, if the subject is a 100-meter high-speed train and it 每隔500米停一次, then the next time it should stop at 1100 meter, not 1000 meter. – cnwang09 Dec 3 '17 at 17:22
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As @user6065 said in comment, 每隔X means 'with interval of X', which does not specify duration of the event.

每隔一周 does not necessarily mean 'every two weeks'. If the event takes place for a week every time, which is the common assumption when someone says 每隔一周, then it means that. But it is possible the the event takes only 1 hour, then it means every one week, although people tend to say it in a different way in the first place.

Similarly, 每隔两天 might be used commonly with an event that has one day duration, hence every three days. But again it could be different, e.g. “每隔两天一次,每次10分钟” then it is an inaccurate way of saying every two days. (It is inaccurate because strictly speaking the interval is 2 days less 10 minutes.)

  • I disagree, 每隔一周 does mean "every other week", while 每一周 means "every week". – dan Dec 3 '17 at 9:30
  • @NS.X Thank you for your input. But I don't think "每隔 X" implies the event lasts for the entire X period of time. For example, the sentence is 他喜欢那家茶馆,一般周三下午去,每隔一周去一次。 – cnwang09 Dec 3 '17 at 17:03

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