I want to know if there are any differences between 一般 and 一样 in expressing “same”?


One difference is:

一般 could mean usual, average. As an adjective, you give a description of how something is comparing with the majority i.e, "same as average" or "not average".

For example, 学霸就是学霸, 他的成绩可真不一般。 (The reputation of being the best at school, His grades are no ordinary.)

一般人的跑步速度是每小时25公里左右。(People's running speed is about 15 miles per hour)

牛顿的物理公式可以准确的描述我们一般的生活当中里的物理现象, 可是到了量子力学中, 就不行了。 (Newton's laws can accurately describe our day to day phenomena, But it would fail in quantum realm.)

一样 as an adjective is usually a description of states when comparing between two things. It is weird to use it to compare state of something with the state of the average.

一样 can sometimes mean exactly the same where as you cannot use 一般 to mean two things are exactly the same.


I want to know if there are any differences between 一般 and 一样 in expressing “same”?

一般 is virtually the same; 一样 is exactly the same

Notice: we say "几乎一样" (almost the same) but we don't say "几乎一般" because "一般" already contains the meaning of 'almost'

一般: similar to/ comparable to/ like


斬瓜切菜一般容易 (easy like cutting vegetable)

狗的智力如兩歲小孩一般 (intelligence of dogs is similar to a two-year-old child)

天使一般的面孔 (A face comparable to an angel's)

If you say: 斬瓜切菜一样容易; 智力如兩歲小孩一样; 天使一样的面孔, You are using 'exactly like' metaphorically, because they are not 'exactly the same ' in reality

一般 can be reduced to 般 in these context: 斬瓜切菜般容易; 兩歲小孩般的智力; 天使般的面孔


一样: same as; the same


兩者價錢一樣 (The price of both is the same)

雙生兄弟長著一樣的面孔 (Twin brothers have the same face)

If you say 兩者一般價錢, it implies the price is either exactly or virtually the same (e.g. $10/mo vs. $119/yr)

  • I’m pretty sure 斩瓜 is Cantonese, not Mandarin. – user3306356 Jan 7 at 17:57
  • Mandarin is 砍瓜切菜, – Tang Ho Jan 7 at 19:07

suggestion: see dictionaries, grammars and/or search this site, e.g. bkrs: 一般 "same" (一样) same as; just like: 他们俩一般高。 The two of them are the same height. 两个问题一般重要。 These two problems are of the same importance.

"现代汉语虚词词典" 一般(般 一样) 助词 结构助词。跟"似的"类似。表示比似,多用于书面。"X 一般"作定语必须加"的"。1。 名词/短语+一般。不单用。火~|波浪~|诗~|箭~|花儿~|打累~|潮涌~|翻江倒海~ 2。"X一般"作各种成分:火~的心|波浪~的麦田|诗~的语言|花儿~的脸|潮涌~的人群|打累~的呼噜|生活是铁~的事实,有它自来残忍(曹禺)|[韩玉梅]好像搂着一个婴儿~的声音说(张贤亮)[作定语]|他的心火~热|他的话语,诗~有味|远远地见司令来了,他老鼠见了猫~地躲开了|那乌鸦也在笔直的树枝间,缩着头,铁铸~站着(鲁迅)|突然["黑豹"]它箭~向团部奔走(梁晓声)|那三三两两的人,也忽然合作一堆,潮~向前赶(鲁迅)|[作状语]3。 跟"像、如"等连用:[梅雨潭]滑滑的明亮着,像涂了"明油"~,有鸡蛋清那样软,那样嫩,令人想着所曾触过的最嫩的皮肤(朱自清)|"九龙松"老干槎桠,如张牙舞爪~(朱自清)|天空亮得恰如洗过~,又高又远|他好像失音了~,好像麻木了~|"当时确吃了一惊,仿佛梦醒~(朱自清)下列例中是形容词:两人一般高|我不跟你一般见识|这种产品很一般|他这个人可不一般|他跟你不一般|[玩具]拐子会飞得和南来的大雁~高(张贤亮)

for 一样 see grammars e.g."图解基础汉语语法"19 比较句(1):A 跟 B 一样 "A 跟 B 一样/不一样"表示 A 和 B 在某方面具有相同点或不同点。常用格式 肯定形式:A + 跟 + B + 一样 (+形容词/动词短语) 否定形式:A + 跟 + B + 不一样 (+形容词/动词短语)疑问形式:A + 跟 + B + 一样 (+形容词/动词短语)+ 吗 A:这本书跟那本(书)一样吗?B 这本书跟那本(书)一样。这本书跟那本(书)不一样。A:尼克跟大卫一样高吗?B:尼克跟大卫一样高。尼克跟大卫不一样高。玛丽跟安妮一样喜欢买东西。其他格式 格式[1]跟。。。一样(+形容词/动词短语)的+名词[2]动词+得+跟。。。一样(+形容词/动词短语)[1]安妮有一顶跟玛丽一样(漂亮)的帽子。[2]儿子长得跟他父亲一样(胖)。

Note different patterns for 一般 compared to 一样, (incidentally 一样 is grammar topic, 一般 usually only is vocabulary item), due to difference in patterns 一般 and 一样 usually not liable to be confused with one another, thus e.g. "汉语同义词词典" has pairs 普通/一般 and 一样/一致 but not 一般/一样

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