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I see they have the same pronunciation but does they bear any differences. It seems like 利害 can be pronounced lìhài or lìhai while 厉害 can only be pronounced lìhai.

  • "汉语同义词词典": 利害/厉害 [音] lìhài lìhai [同] 形容词。形容剧烈、凶猛、难以对付或忍受。可通用。[异] [利害] 不太常用。例:(1)行军时,飞机炸弹还光顾了他一次,幸而不利害。(范长江<陕北之行>)(2)当机关的"先生"同志走到屋里,人们就都坐在那里了。小孩子闹得很利害,总是咧着嘴笑(孙犁<识字班>) [厉害] 很常用。使用频率比"利害"高。例:(1)你刚才说的话,比刀子戳人厉害!(胡奇<夜班勤务>)(2)涛他娘听老婆婆咳嗽得厉害,嘟哝说:老人家一夜不得睡,老是咳嗽!"(梁斌<红旗谱>) – user6065 Dec 8 '18 at 23:16
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Longman Advanced Learner's has a good footnote about this:

【厲害•利害】
lì hai / lì hai (hài)
都是形容詞﹐都有猛烈的意思﹐可以換用﹐現在多用「厲害」。區別在:①「利害」還有利益和害處的意思﹐如「不知利害」;「厲害」沒有這一意思。②「厲害」不能作名詞;「利害」指利益和害處時是名詞。

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一个词在不同的语境下会有不同的意思,我用厉害造句,每个句子里厉害的意思都不一样,你感受一下: 1.美国篮球明星迈克尔乔丹是一个很厉害的人 乔丹打篮球很厉害 awesome,awesome,excellent,Illustrious

2 数学老师是一个很厉害的人,我们都怕他 fierce

利害: 利,有利的:advantageous,beneficial,profitable 害,有害的:detrimental, 所以利害这一个词包含了两种相反的方面。

他是一个很喜欢帮助别人的人,从来不计较利害得失 得:得到 失:失去 跟利害相似,得失同样是一个词包含了两种相反的方面

1

厉害(lìhài)is used to describe the person who has a special and extraordinary skill, or is able to do things that others can't do, is also a widely used mantra praise in people's real life society. enter image description here

利害(lìhài) means the gains and losses. These two words have the same pronunciation, but different meaning. So they are used in different situations:

1. Wǒ de mā ya! Nǐ zhōngwén shuō de zhème hǎo, tài lìhai le!

我的妈呀!你中文说得这么好,太厉害了!

Oh, my god! You speak Chinese so well! Amazing!

2. Léi fēng tóngzhì cóng bù jìjiào gèrén de lì hài déshī.

雷锋同志从不计较个人的利害得失。

Lei Feng never cares about personal gains and losses.

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