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Both 儘量 and 盡量 seem to mean, "try your best," according to these dictionary entries:

In Mandarin and Cantonese, is there a difference for when you use 儘量 vs 盡量? Or are they interchangeable?

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'儘' in '儘量' has the 亻 Radical, denote 'human effort'

儘量 :'to the best of one's ability' ; 'as far as possible' (in term of human effort)

Do not confuse with 盡量 which is different in form, reading, and meaning.

~

盡量 : reach the limit (drink or eat); to the full

Do not confuse with 儘量 which is different in form, reading, and meaning.

Example:

  • When you say '我會儘量給他貸款' , you mean: 'I (personally) will do my best to give him a loan' (to the best of you ability to secure a loan for him)

  • When you say '我會盡量給他貸款', you mean: " I will give him the maximum amount in loan'. (if the bank only authorizes you to lent out loans no bigger than $5000, then $5000 loan is the limit)

Another example:

  • 儘量投放物資 - do one's best to deliver supplies

  • 盡量投放物資 - deliver maximum amount of supplies until it is exhausted

尽 is the simplified form for both 盡 and 儘.

Which mean in Mainland China, 儘量 and 盡量 are both written as 尽量, but their pinyin are different depend on which meaning you are using.

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  • yet another excellent explanation. thank you!
    – Crashalot
    Oct 14, 2018 at 2:40
  • This is giving me some serious déjà vu. Wasn't a similar question asked before on the site?
    – Mou某
    Oct 14, 2018 at 5:16
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In our daily spoken language, they are almost identical. No one cares which word you use. The difference is intonation, and the intonation brings emphasis.

  • 儘 (jǐn) 量: lighter intonation of "jin", is asking/answering politely. It implies "try one's best efforts if possible".
  • 盡 (jìn) 量: heavier intonation of "jin", is asking/answering intensely/strongly. It implies "try to get the best results if possible".

Here are the metaphors of 3 word 儘/盡/量 in the phrases:

  • 量: degree/level/extent; usually measurable or comparable.
  • 儘 (jǐn): to the best/most (and try to reach the limit if possible)
  • 盡 (jìn): to the limit (and try to push or break the limit as it can)

Your best may not be your limit.

Similarly, there are 儘管, 盡管, and 僅管:

  • 儘 (jǐn) 管: to feel free to.
  • 盡 (jìn) 管: informal written of 儘管. Using this phrase is just like 盡量: to emphasize this phrase. It implies to break the constraint.
  • 僅 (jǐn) 管: nevertheless

Here in those phrases, 管 means "the constraint".

In many cases, 儘量/盡量/儘管/盡管 could be interchangeable in the daily spoken language (but not always interchangeable), and we really don't care about the differences. It's just your speaking style.

For example:

  • 你儘量吃: You could/may eat as possible as you can
  • 你儘管吃: Please feel free to eat

BTW, the phrase 僅管 and 儘管 sound the same (jǐnguǎn), but they have different meaning. They are not interchangeable in written, but many people use them incorrectly.

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