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so far I went through a few forums to look at existing questions on 孤单 vs. 孤独 vs. 寂寞 usage. The answers from each person have a bit of difference so I would like to check if what I understood so far is correct. Based on what I researched and compiled together so far:

孤单 seems to mean alone physically and having no one to rely on even if the person has many friends.

孤独 seems to mean the person has many friends but no one understands the person so the person feels alone in the heart.

寂寞 seems to mean no one is around or with the person so the person feels alone.

What do you guys think about this? Feel free to give some opinions and sample sentences if I made some mistakes!

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孤 =(alone);单 = (single)

孤单 = alone/ solitary

~

孤=(alone); 独 = (single/alone)

孤独 = alone/ solitary/ unsociable

~

寂 = quiet; 寞 = deserted

寂寞 = lonely; loneliness

  • 孤单 mainly describes a physical state of being alone. It can be used to describe a feeling of loneliness, as in "感到孤单" (feel alone = lonely)

  • 孤独 also describes a physical physical state of being alone. It can be used to describe a feeling of loneliness, as in "感到孤独" (feel alone = lonely), It can also be used to describe a personality, as in "他性恪很孤独" (he is very unsociable) - You cannot say "他性恪很孤单"

  • 寂寞 is mostly an emotion or feeling. You can be surrounded by friends and still feel lonely. For example: "無敵是最寂寞" (unrivaled people are the most lonely people)

People do not physically being 寂寞; being physically 孤单/孤独 (alone) can make you feel 寂寞, but being 寂寞 (lonely) doesn't require being alone

Actually, feeling 孤单/孤独 (feel alone = lonely) doesn't require physically being alone

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cf."汉语同义词词典":孤单/孤独 [同]形容词。形容独自一个。[异] [孤单] 着重于单身无靠,感到寂寞,或孤零零单独一个。可形容人和人的感觉,也可形容具体的物。可重叠为"孤孤单单","孤单单"。例:(1)每个同志,不是孤单的个人,而且是战斗集体中的一员。(臧克家(高歌忆向阳))(2)哥哥孤单地站在月台上,用忧虑的眼睛凝视着我,似乎掉下了泪。(陈残云(异国乡情))(3)"我没有家了!"李麦心里想着呆呆地看着地上的东西。夕阳把她修长的影子投在地上,她有生以来,第一次感到孤单。(李准(黄河东流去))(4)大概有十一点多了,样子看见了人和厂那盏极明而怪孤单的灯。(老舍(骆鸵祥子))(5)可是我死了,我告诉你爹!你身边就一个亲骨肉都没有了。没有我,你就是一个孤孤单单的老头子。(曹禺(王昭君))(6)走了一里多路,我才看见这里有一座小小的房子,孤单单地挺立在出峁上,。。。(秋心(灾后行))

[孤独] 着重于独自一人,没有人与之相处或不愿与人相处,寂寞无助。只形容人,可形容人的感觉,还可形容人的性情。不能重叠。例:(1)但他并不孤独,他朋友很多,各式各样的全有,还有许多莫逆之交。(楼适夷(痛悼傅雷))(2)陈忠林老爷爷是个很孤独的人,老伴早去世了,没有儿女,没有近亲,只有几个上了年纪的穷朋友。(陈大远(坎坷的白银时代))(3)在忧患离乱的十年间,我几乎是孤独的跋涉在风雨如晦又是荆棘从生的荒野上,摸索着前进的道路。(何为((闽居纪程)自序))(4)来到了这个人地两生的地方,王跑感到孤独了。(李准(黄河东流去))(5)他为人很是孤独,从来也不和人们来往。(何为(湖畔))(6)她从小不爱讲话,不爱笑,孤独,不爱理人。(杨沫(青春之歌))

[附] "孤单"还形容力量单薄,如"完成这么繁重的任务,你一个人力量太孤单了"。

寂寞/寂寥 [同] 形容词。形容冷漠凄情,不热闹。[异][寂寞]着重于主观感觉的孤单冷情:寂静。可用于人,多形容心情,也可用于事物,多形容环境,如"~的山林、~的原野"。通用于口语和书面语。例(1)那士兵回答道:"没有事儿,一个人站着孤零零的,怪寂寞,想找个人说说话。"(歌阳山(圣地))(2)有朋友,就不怕穷。我穷,我的生活不安定,可是我并不寂寞。(老舍(八方风雨))(3)大哥一个人在房里读夜书,他大概觉得寂寞罢。(巴金(最初回忆))(4)郭老、矛盾先生走了之后,也给我增加了寂寞之感。(臧克家(长夜漫漫终有明))

[寂寥] 着重于客观环境的空旷、冷寂,也形容主观感觉的孤单冷清。用于书面语,书面语的色彩比"寂寞"浓。文学语体。例:(1)夜深人静,古庙里鸦雀无声,庭阶寂寥,院子里的古松投下浓淡的疏影,东西厢房都已昏黑了,庙殿森然的挺立着。(马加(北国风云录))There are 4 more examples (not copied)

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