2

When I was writing a simple paragraph about 自我介绍, I wanted to say that "I was born in XXX."

I wasn't sure about how to say it and then looked for some examples of how to say it in Chinese and came across two characters :

"在" and "于" (I just knew about 于, I had never paid attention to this character before).

Both can mean "in, on, at" and can be used as a preposition to indicate a location as well.

Now, what's the difference between two characters?

Will there be any difference if I say :

我出生在XXX。

and

我出生于XXX。

???

Thank you!

  • The tag simplified-chinese is specifically for discussing Simplified Chinese characters - please don’t assign it to questions not to do with characters. – dROOOze Nov 21 '18 at 7:02
  • 于 always more literary than 在 – Jacob Nov 21 '18 at 12:54
3

王得屹's answer is basically correct, is used in colloquial sentences more and is used in literary sentences more.

I would provide examples to illustrate the point more clearly:

"生(于)中国" = "出生(在)中国" (we don't say 生在中国 because 生 is more literary, 在 is more colloquial, mixing the two make it sound unnatural)

"逝(于)日本" = "(在)日本逝世" (we don't say 逝在日本 because 逝 is more literary, 在 is more colloquial, mixing the two make it sound unnatural; meanwhile, 死 and 在 in 死在日本 are both colloquial terms)

"生于中国" and "逝于日本" are more literary

"出生在中国" and "在日本逝世" / 死在日本 are more colloquial

unlike 逝, 逝世 is more suitable for colloquial sentences

| improve this answer | |
2

Both 我出生在XXX。and 我出生于XXX。are right. They have the same meaning. In my experience with the two words '在' and '于' as a Chinese speaker, they all adpositions which have similar use. Both of them can be used to indicate time and location. The only different I think between them is '在' is often used in spoken language but '于' is often used in formal occasions.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.