Just received this in a message from a friend trying to determine what time we meet this coming Sunday.

星期天几点开踢? 夏时制开始

Daylight savings starts early this Sunday at 2am.

So what is the purpose of 制 in the phrase 夏时制开始?

I see from wiktionary that 制 can have the meaning of "establish" so is 制 included to indicate that daylight savings is starting on that particular day (which is Sunday by context of the previous sentence)?

  • 2
    Here 制 means "制度,体制", system.
    – Stan
    Oct 3, 2013 at 5:52
  • @Stan - So does that mean it goes with 夏时 as in "夏时制" together?
    – going
    Oct 3, 2013 at 5:53
  • 1
    China had that system from 1986 to 1991 or 1992... I remember I had to adjust all clocks at home when I was small...
    – user58955
    Oct 3, 2013 at 6:13
  • 3
    And I think it's more natural to say 夏令时 in that construction and 夏令时开始 is also what people would usually say. 夏时制 is the system, you can say 美国采取夏时制 but it's more natural to say 夏令时开始.
    – user58955
    Oct 3, 2013 at 6:16
  • 1
    I second to what @user58955 said. Also, although 夏时 is a valid word, people usually use 夏令时 or 夏时制 depending on the context. 夏时 can be used in only specific circumstances where the flow and prosody of the sentence are right and the usage doesn't sound ambiguous.
    – NS.X.
    Oct 3, 2013 at 7:25

1 Answer 1


From speaking to many mainland Chinese, 夏时 means daylight savings. If a Chinese speaker knows about daylight savings, 夏时 is quite clear. 夏时制 is more clear especially for Chinese who aren't familiar with daylight savings. The three words together express "system of daylight saving" loose translation.

Honestly, would a non-American English speaker be able to know what daylight savings is without previous knowledge of the concept? I don't think so. I can imagine less worldly Chinese not understanding either of the two above phrases unless the concept was carefully explained to them.

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