What is the difference in meaning of:

它的眼睛大大的。 它的眼睛很大。


他有大大的眼睛。 他有大眼睛。

And more generally, when might someone use reduplication for adjectives?

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    In English don't you find -- "You have a long, long way to go in mastering the Chinese language"? Commented Jul 9, 2020 at 3:16

4 Answers 4


Reduplication of adjective put emphasis on it

Same as English: "big" in "He has big big eyes" is more emphasized than the simple "big" in "He has big eyes"

他有大大的眼睛 = he has very big eyes

它的眼睛大大的 = his eyes are very big

Notice, not all adjective can be reduplicated, for example we do not reduplicate 巨 because 巨 is already a higher superlative of 大

Also, we don't reduplicated adjectives that are made up of two same characters, For example, 茫茫 is a compound word, not a reduplication of 茫; 忽忽 is a compound word, not a reduplication of 忽


Both 它的眼睛大大的 and 它的眼睛很大 means the same.

However, 它的眼睛大大的 sounds cutie, animating, or vivid(maybe also girlish). 它的眼睛很大 only addresses the fact and doesn't have that effect.


It's quite common to use repeated adjectives in song lyrics, to sound more rhythmic and make the lyrics "fit" the poetic structure. For example, in the song 雪莲:


We do this in English too, e.g., Red Red Wine.


A.she has a big eye

B.she has a big big eye

so, what's the different? it's the same

in real life you will say A.

but when you writing a story、a novel …. maybe you will use B. to describe something more detail, or make it more emotional

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