I'm currently learning about Resultative Complement in Chinese. Today, I tried to do some exercises provided by a website and bumped into this question :

Direction: Translate this question into Chinese!


Put your ticket away properly and don't lose it!

I then translated the sentence into:

你的票请你拿住,... (I don't know if this one is grammatically correct though)

I initially wanted to use the resultative word "好" because it says "properly" but I became skeptical because in the explanation that I read, 住 is the one that's used to indicate "to make sure sth stays securely", which I think, is more suitable for the condition above (you are told keep your ticket properly and not to lose it).

But when I checked the answer, it says :


I wonder why it uses 好 whereas 住 seems to be more suitable (in my opinion)? Could you please explain more about 住?

  • 1
    好 apparently is a rather universal resultative complement,can almost always be used, 住 has a much narrower collocation (搭配) field
    – user6065
    Feb 2, 2019 at 22:33
  • Put your ticket away properly and don't lose it! 把车票放好,不要遗失了。
    – Pedroski
    Feb 3, 2019 at 8:36

4 Answers 4


Your understanding about 住 is correct. It means 'stay securely; seize; hold on to', while 好 means 'properly; nicely; adequately...' in a more general sense.

Based on those meanings, plus your verb choice 拿, when comparing the two, 拿住 is more specific and 放好 is more general. So when you say 拿住, the literal meaning is 'seize the ticket with your hand, don't let go'. It could imply 'don't lose it' but it could also imply 'keep it handy (as if you will be asked to display it at any time)'. Meanwhile when you say 放好, it only means 'secure it', maybe with a slight hint 'put it in a secure container', but overall it is less specific on how and more focused on the result.

For the translate question, your answer with 拿住 is absolutely correct. It is grammatical and sounds natural, and some native speakers may come with the same answer. However, I believe in real life, 放好/收好 is more commonly used for the subtle semantic reason above.

An analogy in English is

  • 拿住 = hold on tightly
  • 放好 = keep properly/securely

Both are correct and you may actually use either one, but the second would be more common for the situation.


Put your ticket away properly and don't lose it!

In order to interpret it properly, we should understand the English phrase "put away" correctly. I think this dictionary definition explains the sense of "put away" applied in this context well:

If you put something away, you put it into the place where it is normally kept when it is not being used, for example, in a drawer.

In your context, "Put your ticket away properly" suggests that you should put your ticket in the place where you feel safe and comfortable to keep it. So, 放好 here makes more sense because it's indicating keep it properly. 拿住, however, denotes the sense holding it tightly preventing from dropping, which is a bit off from the context.

P.S. 住 in 抓住 denotes the sense of sustainability. 抓住 and 抓紧 are often interchangeable in most of contexts.


Both NS.X and Dan pointed out '好' is the correct resultative complement in this context, but they both mistaken '住' as 'tightly'

'住' doesn't indicate 'tightly', it indicates 'continuously'

the resultative complement that indicates 'tightly' is '緊'

Let me give some examples to illustrate the difference between '好', '住' and '緊'

拿好 = hold (properly/ finish)

拿住 = hold (continuously; stay holding)

拿緊 = hold (tightly)

拿好武器 = hold the weapon (properly) or (finish) taking up the weapon

拿住武器 = hold the weapon (continuously; stay holding)

拿緊武器 = hold the weapon (tightly)

More example:

鎖好門窗 = lock the doors and windows (properly) or (finish) locking the doors and windows

鎖住門窗 = lock the doors and windows (in a continuous state; keep them locked)

鎖緊門窗 = lock the doors and windows (tightly)

We can say 緊緊拿住武器, but not 緊緊拿緊武器 because 住 doesn't mean tightly, therefore we can apply the adverb 緊緊 to it. Meanwhile, 拿緊 already mean 'hold tightly' so the adverb 緊緊 would be redundant

Put your ticket away properly and don't lose it!


'To put away' means 'to remove from the current location and put it where it belong' therefore, the correct term is '收'

Both 收住(hide continuously and stay hiding) or 收緊 (pull tightly) are not correct in this context, only 收好 (put away properly) does.

The properly way to put away your ticket is put it in a zipped up pocket in your person or in your carrying bag. holding it in your hand all time increase the chance of losing it.

Could you please explain more about 住

Sure, 'verb+住' indicates the verb is 'on going' or 'in a continuous state'

舉火把 = raise a torch

舉起火把 = raise a torch up (起 is the directional complement)

舉著火把 = 1. 'in the process of raising a torch' or 2. 'raise a torch continuously'

舉住火把 = 'raise a torch continuously' (著 and 住 are interchangeable in this usage) but 舉住火把 doesn't have the meaning of 'in the process of raising a torch'

  • In some context, 抓住了 and 抓紧了 are very close. For example, 抓住/紧绳子!不要掉下去!
    – dan
    Feb 3, 2019 at 5:28
  • 1
    Yeah, 抓住绳子 means "keep grabbing on the rope and don't let go' (keep on grabbing in a continuous state); 抓紧绳子 means "grab the rope tightly" . In order to '抓住' (not stop grabbing) you have to grab tightly; Likewise, if you '抓紧 (grab tightly), you can hold on rope continuously. Both can become the extended meaning of the other, but it doesn't change the fact that 住 and 紧 are different in their core meaning
    – Tang Ho
    Feb 3, 2019 at 6:14
  • 'keep grabbing' implies repeated attempts at grabbing, better 'hang on to the rope and don't let go'. Similarly, 'hang on tight and don't let go'
    – Pedroski
    Feb 3, 2019 at 8:40
  • I meant grab on the rope and stay grabbing on it ( in a continuous state). Repeat after me; "It is grabbing (holding) on the rope" "not "grabbing the rope
    – Tang Ho
    Feb 3, 2019 at 8:46
  • Notice: in "抓紧住繩索" , "抓紧" means hold on tight, and '住' indicates "in a continuous state". Without adding '住', "抓紧繩索" can still be understood as an continuous action
    – Tang Ho
    Feb 3, 2019 at 8:51

住 functioning as complement as dictionary items, see e.g. 小马词典 http://www.xiaoma.info/compound.php?uni=%E4%BD%8F&fhz=%E4%BD%8F:记住、站住、握住、拦住、顶住、堵住、握住、遮住、捉住、盯住、保住、借住、停住、刹住、包住、卡住、吸住、呆住、吸住、咽住、噎住、围住、守住、扎住、扣住、扯住、抓住、抵住、拖住、栓住、挺住、揪住、捂住、搂住、挡住、煞住、留住、绊住、绑住、迷住、钳住、钩住、黏住

additionally (see grammars)捆住、接住、扶住,for see grammar e.g. 图解基础汉语语法:写、翻译、酸、做、、坐、准备、收、安排


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