Continuing from my previous question, here's another sentence I picked from a song.


I tried to search through Pinpin Dictionary, it means:

  • To make a comparison
  • To engage in a contest
  • To compare a little

which is rather odd and not making any sense to the sentence.

I also think that "比一比" is a reduplication of "比", which could have the same meaning as "比比". I found one in Wiktionary, it means:

  • Everywhere; All over
  • All the time; Again and again

which has a better translation.

To sum up, what does "比一比" mean in this sentence? Could it mean "everywhere; all over"? Or do you have any other translation? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  • this is basic grammar: search site for verb reduplication 动词的重叠(or check any grammar)
    – user6065
    Jan 5, 2018 at 18:16
  • If this is the basic grammar, could you explain why "比比" means differently with "比一比"?
    – Reynaldi
    Jan 5, 2018 at 23:02
  • comment #1refers to 比一比 (trying on [different 新衣, and making comparisons]) as in the quoted sentence) not to 比比,(as can be looked up in grammars or previous Q&A) V reduplication 动词重叠 refers to all of the following: V+V,V一V,V了V,e.g. 看看,看一看,看了看,点点头,摇摇头,用扇子向脸上扇一扇,that does not exclude that VV for some V may have a special meaning (deserving a dictionary entry) as happens in the case of 比比 (bkrs:1) all; each one 2) incessantly; always)compare with 比比皆是 (bkrs:meet the eye everywhere; be great in number; be seen everywhere -- in abundance; can be found everywhere; one on the heels of another)
    – user6065
    Jan 6, 2018 at 0:57

3 Answers 3


in most context means "to compare" e.g. 比大小 (compare the size)

But in the sentence, "一件件新衣向身上一比" , '比' means 'to cling to or 'lie next to' (in order to compare or match)'

It is very common for a person to pick up a new clothes and 'cling' it to his body to check if the size and the style is for him

You can see it more clearly without reduplication of '比'

"把那件新衣往身上比一下, 看看大小是否适合"

  • This makes a lot of sense to me! Especially there's a word "一件件", indicating the new clothes is more than one to compare which one is better. Thank you, marked this as an answer!
    – Reynaldi
    Jan 5, 2018 at 23:14

Here “比一比”是指一个动作。即把衣服贴在身上(对着镜子)看看,而不是试穿,动作比较随意。 “比一比”refers to an action, that is to take up a new dress and then cling it on one’s body but not trying on.It is more casual. To have a look it is if suitble to the color, size, style etc. 另外,“一件件新衣向身上比一比”常用“往身上比一比”很少用“向”字。虽然“向”和“往”都可以指动作的方向。 Other, we prefer using “往” but “向”, although both are refering the direction of a action .


first 看一看=看, 试一试=试, 比一比=比, 谈一谈=谈。。。 Second In this sentence,“比” means compare the size of clothes with your shape.

  • I already know about the reduplication of verb, I just need to know what is the meaning in this context, which is already answered by @Tang Ho.
    – Reynaldi
    Jan 6, 2018 at 0:40

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