I've been trying to figure out how exactly to use 拆开 and what it means since I saw it in a song: Mine, Mine by 周杰伦.

In the song, the translation i got was disassembling which i would think to be like taking something apart? Though i also get the definition online as to take apart or separating, with examples of opening letters and presents:

你不等我就把所有的礼物都拆开了? Would you commonly use this for opening gifts/letters or also in other contexts to mean disassembling something? Thanks!

3 Answers 3


The reason we use 拆 because gifts are usually sealed, wrapped, or tied. The verb 拆 means to remove some structures. For gifts, it is unsealing, unwrapping and untying.

開 is to open up a box or reveal the content.

If there is no wrapping but simply a box, 打開 is enough. For example, if it is a wedding ring inside a box, the receiver simply opens the box.


It's fine to use "拆開" to open up a gift, or a package, box, etc., "打開" is also applicable.
For disassembling usage, you might to take apart something 3C products or electronic/mechanical devices, like cell phone, radio, television controller, etc. Use "拆解" also applicable.


Sometimes the choice of wording is based on preferences of the artist/writer, and at other times there is some interpretation done with some poetic license.

I feel like the use of the words 拆开 is more appropriate compared to 打开, as the word 拆 has the subtle difference of pulling something apart to indicate the nuance of impatience and untidiness, which is suggested by the lyrics:

"You didn't wait for me to open up all the present."

The term 拆开 is more commonly used in specific contexts when you have to take something apart, whereas 打开 is a more generic term that can represent any type of action that involves the opening of something (e.g. a window or a box).

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