I'm confused about how or when to use 乘 and 坐 when discussing vehicles. It seems like you can say:
坐火车 or 乘火车
坐巴士 or 乘巴士
坐出租车 or 乘出租车
If these are interchangeable, what is the difference between the two, and when should you use them?
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乘 = to board
坐= to sit (in)
坐火车= sit in a train (take seat on train )
乘火车= board a train
坐巴士= sit in a bus (take seat on bus)
乘巴士= board a bus
You can use '乘' , '坐' or '乘坐' when you take or ride any transportation that you can board and has seats.
We use 騎 (mount/ ride) when the transportation has a saddle instead of seats. For example, horse and motorcycle.
騎馬 (mount/ ride horse)
騎摩托車 (mount/ ride motorcycle)
I see the difference the same as "take the bus" ("乘车") vs "ride the bus" ("坐车").
Of course one can specify what kind of "车" it is-"火车", "汽车“(“巴士”), or "马车"
I think they are interchangeable. I could not get a case where you can only use one over the other in this sense.
They can be translated as 'take' or 'by'. For example,
我们乘/坐火车去北京。 // we will go to Beijing by train. Or we will take a train to go to Beijing.
In chinese,when you express : travel by public transport
"坐" or "乘"， it is usered in oral。
"乘坐"，used in formal occasions
我坐火车去纽约 = 我乘火车去纽约, I go to New York by train
when you in airport,the Aircraft broadcasting will say:
欢迎乘坐飞机。welcome to board plane.
when you express someone sit in something,you only say:
你坐在床上 ,you sit in bed.
你乘在床上，or 你乘坐在床上，they are wrong express.
There are no different in sense of taking public transport, Just a habit. even though, you can use both them in a sentence.