In the 标准教程HSK4上 book, chapter 6, 课文1, I felt 张远 was being annoying by asking a lot of questions about why 李进 didn't answer his phone. So I wrote:


My teacher was surprised by my use of 审问 (interrogate). It's the kind of thing I would say in English:

If someone doesn't want to answer their phone, you don't need to interrogate them.

My teacher seemed puzzled by 审问, and said 问 would be better. But changing 审问 to 问 would change the meaning: you can ask, but don't ask so intensely that it feels like an interrogation.

I'm thinking she interprets 审问 literally, and it would be better to flag the use of this metaphor, perhaps with 像...那样. Something like:


Question: Is it essential to highlight the use of a metaphor with 像...那样 or something to this effect?

I found some examples online:

男友像审问犯人一样问女友 (here)

我不喜欢,批评学生像审问犯人的那样的教育 (here)

  • 1
    You were mixing up 象 with 像 in few places so I edited it for you. But that's a fairly new thing anyway: chinese.stackexchange.com/a/27251/4136.
    – Mou某
    Commented Oct 23, 2019 at 2:33
  • Oops! Thank you.
    – Becky 李蓓
    Commented Oct 23, 2019 at 3:27
  • 1
    Speaking like “像审犯人那样问他” would be better. If you chose to use 审问 directly, I would personally suggest surround 审问 by quotes. 用不着因为不想接电话就“审问”他。 用不着因为不想接电话就像审犯人那样问他。
    – tsh
    Commented Oct 24, 2019 at 11:08

2 Answers 2



I think the bigger problem here is: word choice.

Swapping 审问 out for 拷问 would make the whole sentence more Chinese.

拷问 is defined in ABC as:

interrogate with torture

third degree

Giving someone the third degree is something we also speak of often enough in English for "interrogations".

This might also be confused with 考问, and vice versa, - the pronunciations are exactly the same and the meanings, in an extended sense, are not that far off from one another.

考问 is defined in ABC as:

examine orally; question

Sometimes certain words are just not used in certain contexts.



一个审问 (an interrogation) is a noun, but your sentence suggests 审问 is a verb with the object "犯人" omitted

The problem of your sentence is 像(审问)犯人那样(问)他 is an incorrect form of shorten "审问"

The correct form is 如果别人不想接电话,不用像(审问)犯人那样(审)他 (if someone doesn't want to take your phone call, there's no need to interrogate him like interrogate a criminal suspect)

You can reduce "像(审问犯人)那样" to "像(审犯)那样" . 审犯 (interrogate criminal suspect) is a common Chinese term

You can even shorten the sentence further by removing "如果" and "像... 那样" and write: "别人不想接电话,也不用(审犯)般(审)他"

也 implies 如果; 般 means 那样

  • I don't think 审问 may be a noun. I had searched "一个审问" on Google, but none of search result on first page use it as a noun.
    – tsh
    Commented Oct 24, 2019 at 10:58
  • @tsh The fact that the op used a noun classifier 个, grammatically made 审问 a noun. But 个 is not the correct classifier for the noun 审问 . the correct noun-classifier for 审问 is 次 as in "一次审问" (an interrogation).
    – Tang Ho
    Commented Oct 24, 2019 at 11:44
  • Anyway, I also stated 审问 in her sentence is a verb
    – Tang Ho
    Commented Oct 24, 2019 at 11:47

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