1. Do 逼, 迫, and 逼迫 all carry the same connotation of "to force"? Is there a difference?

  2. If there's a difference, when should you use each one?

  3. Which is the most common to use in speaking and writing?

  4. Is there a difference between Cantonese and Mandarin?

2 Answers 2




逼, means 'to approach and get close to'



迫: 用强力压制 (use force to press)



逼迫: to force;to compel;to press

逼迫(approach and forcefully press) = 'to force/ to compel/ to press'

It is a compound word

逼 and 迫 are very similar, but there are subtle difference

  • 逼: by approach extremely close, you are in effect pressing the object

  • 迫: by forcefully pressing, you are extremely close to the object

In my experience, many people use 逼 and 迫 interchangeably

I have no problem with people using 逼 or 迫 for 'press' as in '逼切/'迫切 (pressingly close = urgent)

But I object using 迫 instead of 逼 for 'approach' as in '颱風逼近' (typhoon approaching)

Do they all carry the same connotation of “to force?”

  • 迫 and 逼迫 mean 'to force' directly

  • 逼 means 'to force' by extended meaning (approaching --> pressing --> forcing)

Cantonese only use 迫 or 逼 for 'to force'. We do not use the term 逼迫


I intuitively think you can distinguish them like: 逼 is someone force you do something, while 迫 is you have to do (have no choice but to do) something.


我妈逼我写作业:My mom force me to do my homework

迫于无奈,只能告诉你妈妈你没写作业:I have no choice but to tell your mom that you didn't do your homework.

And when you use them together, 逼迫 can be either 逼 or 迫.

In Chinese (especially ancient Chinese) some words are biased, which means the word's meaning is the same as one part of the word and have nothing to do with the other part. The exact meaning of these words are decided by contents.

More examples are: 园圃(tree filed & vegetable filed), 国家(country & family), 利害(gain & loss), 出入(in & out), 深浅(deep & shallow), 褒贬(praise & belittle), 悲欢(sad & happy)

But these biased combined words are mostly appears in ancient Chinese not modern. Some of them now have a fixed meaning rather than a contents based meaning. Like 国家(country only now).

These are my intuitive feelings.

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