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I know you can say 维持治安, but not ie. 保持治安, yet other examples seem to be very similar in terms of use—is that a collocation issue or different meaning?

Sources so far:

https://hinative.com/zh-CN/questions/150380

https://hinative.com/zh-CN/questions/150380

  • Uh, the title says 维护 and the question says 维持. Not totally sure what you want to ask about specifically. – user3306356 Aug 23 '19 at 8:03
  • @user3306356 thanks for pointing out—edited to clarify. – MrVocabulary Aug 23 '19 at 12:25
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  • 保 = maintain; guarantee; 持 = hold ; [保持 = to maintain; to keep ]

  • 维 = maintain; safeguard; 持 = hold ; [维持 = to maintain; to keep ; to safeguard]

  • 维 = maintain; safeguard; 护 = protect; [维护 = to protect]

When it means "maintain" or "keep" 保持 and 维持 are interchangeable

Example:

保持良好治安 = 维持良好治安 (maintain good level of public order)

保持平衡 = 维持平衡 (maintain balance)

I know you can say 维持治安, but not ie. 保持治安

It is because 治安 only means "level of public order" It can be good or bad. "保持治安" (maintain level of public order) doesn't specify what level of public order is being maintained; while "维持" has the meaning of "to safeguard" therefore "维持治安" (to safeguard level of public order) strongly implies the level of public order is being safeguarded is high -- We safeguard the level of public order only when it is high.

As my examples indicated, if the level of public order is specifically stated, e.g. "良好" (good) then you can use either 保持 or 维持

Also indicated in my example, 维护 means "to protect" "维护治安" doesn't need to specify what level of public order is being protected -- We protect the level of public order only when it is high.

  • I see, thank you. Would 维持 be more or less equivalent to 保护? As seen by examples: 人们应该保护环境。 – MrVocabulary Aug 24 '19 at 15:49
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    @MrVocabulary For the meaning of "to protect" 维护 sounds more passive ; 保护sounds more proactive. 维持环境 (maintain environment) doesn't even suggest you have the duty to protect it. – Tang Ho Aug 24 '19 at 17:33

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