4

下载 means "to download". But there's this line in a story that I read :

"啊,是不是因为我在下电影?”

Here, it just used "下" and "载" seems to be omitted.

My questions are :

1) Are 下 and 载 separable? I mean, are they kind of "verb+object" word?

2) Can we omit "载" if the thing we download is clear enough to the listener? For example, can I simply say : 下照片/下视频?

3) If no. 2 isn't the case, then is there any specific rules/conditions of when we are allowed to omit "载" and when we are not?

Thank you ^_^

  • It's just normal case words get simplified in casual speech. Also happens in English. – 炸鱼薯条德里克 Dec 1 '18 at 10:21
5

1) Are 下 and 载 separable? I mean, are they kind of "verb+object" word?

No, '下载' is a compound word verb, you need both characters for the specific meaning of 'to download'

(向)下 = downward

载 = to load onto

下载 = to download (from upstream server to local storage device )

~

(向)上 = upward

上载 = to upload (from local storage device to upstream server)- It is also a compound word verb

~

2) Can we omit "载" if the thing we download is clear enough to the listener? For example, can I simply say : 下照片/下视频?

Yes, just like you can omit 'drink' in 'drink down' and write 'down a bottle of wine', presume the listener could reliably guess what the omitted word is.

We don't "吃下" (eat down) a bottle of wine, only "喝下" (drink down) a bottle of wine.

However, you should always use the whole word 下载 or 上载 to avoid confusion. Because without other context, 下照片 could be interpreted as '把照片下架' (take down the photo) and 上视频 could be interpreted as '把视频上架' (post the video)

3) If no. 2 isn't the case, then is there any specific rules/conditions of when we are allowed to omit "载" and when we are not?

You can omit "载" or any character in a compound word if you think the listener could reliably guess what the omitted word is; You cannot omit it if you think the listener could not reliably guess what the omitted word is

omit 下 and write 载照片 or 载视频 only create more confusion. ('载 upward' or '载 downward' ?)

2

For your first question, 下载 is not the kind of verb plus object word, 下 is 状语 while 载 is the 动词,the noun following it is the oject.

For your second question, you can almost omit 载 in 下载 everywhere, except a few cases

我找不到下载的网址

你有下载工具吗?

It is hard to collect all possible situations where you use 下载,but you can indeed omit 载 almost everywhere as long as you are talking, not writing!

  • 1
    If you define the roles of each character in the compound word 下载, then '下' is an adverb and '载' is the verb. More examples; 上(adv) + 升(v) = 上升 (rise up); 下(adv) + 沉(v) = 下沉(sink down) – Tang Ho Dec 1 '18 at 1:30
  • @TangHo You are definitely correct, I would correct my answer. – zyy Dec 1 '18 at 1:53
1

1) Are 下 and 载 separable? I mean, are they kind of "verb+object" word?

No: a test for if it is so is try to separate it: 跳舞 becomes 跳了舞, etc. But *下了载 is wrong and sounds to me like a Southerner trying to say 下了崽儿. Likewise none of *下着载, *下过载, *下一个载, etc. is acceptable.

2) Can we omit "载" if the thing we download is clear enough to the listener? For example, can I simply say : 下照片/下视频?

Yes, for the verb. Though note this doesn't work the same with its counterpart 上传 "to upload". For some reason we say , maybe because this component is the clearer one of the two. works so far as meaning "to put up", which works in certain circumstances (e.g. to put up a Youtube video) but not most of them (e.g. to upload travel photos to an album).

If it's noun, you need to heed things like style or syllabic meter. Just like you can say 买法 or 购买方式 but not *买方式 which has to be 买的方式, you can say 下载工具 下法 下载方法 but not *下工具 or *下方法, for which you have to say 下的工具 or 下的方法.

! Note: mainland Mandarin prefers 下载 for "download" and 上传 for "upload". 下传 only means "to transmit down", for example from the space station. 上载 is rare in daily settings, and uncommon at best in technical settings.

  • THANK YOU SO MUCH! Sorry for my late response ^___^ your answer is really helpful 🌸 – Agnes Dec 22 '18 at 6:08

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