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一般 is both an adjective and adverb that means "same". I haven't found any thorough explanations of its usage. How is it generally used and in what kind of situations?

Thank you so much!

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一般

  1. [like] e.g. (像)鬼一般 = like a ghost

  2. [normal] e.g. 一般人 = normal people

  3. [average] e.g. 一般水平 average level

To use 一般 as an adverb, you need to place a descriptive phrase before it, and then add an adverb marker 地 after it.

Example:

[瘋了一般地][攻擊] = [attack] [like being crazy]

瘋了一般地 is an adverbal phrase

[殺雞一般地][屠殺敵人] = [Slaughter the enemies] [like Killing chickens]

殺雞一般地 is an adverbal phrase

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adj

他與計算機一般,算術都很快。He is just like a computer and he calculates so quickly.

他 He

與 and

計算機 computer

一般 same、like (equal)

算數 calculate

都 both

很 so、very

快 fast quick

adv (X I am not sure. I have not heard)

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Use 一般來說,[situation], here [situation] is somethings that will occurred generally speaking. For example, 一般來說,這個時間天氣都很熱。(Generally speaking, it is hot at this time)(一般來說,[situation], here [situation] is 這個時間天氣都很熱). So 這個時間天氣都很熱(It is hot at this time) is the things that happened generally speaking.

一般 can mean normal. 這東西很重,不是一般人就可以搬動的。(This stuff is heavy which cannot be moved by normal people).

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In addition to the answers.

When you use 一般 to describe “average”, even though it literally means "average", but in real situations, it is a polite way of saying "bad". For example, if A is invited to B's family dinner. When coming back A's roommate C asked how B's mom's cook is. A didn't like it but didn't want to say anything bad about it. So A said "一般般吧". In another case A hate it so much but don't want to be rude, A can say "非常一般" which means "very very bad" but less aggressive.

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  • Before, I learned in Youtube that 一般般 means "normal" and equal to 马马虎虎. So it does mean "bad".
    – Jenny
    May 2 '20 at 13:33
  • 一般般 or 马马虎虎 may also be used as 自谦. In such case, it should not be translated into "bad".
    – tsh
    May 7 '20 at 8:46
  • @tsh 自谦is a special situation that one reject others praise. In that case you can use any word means, generally, "bad", even though some are used more often than others. It's not a nature of the word but a context. How to translate it into another culture is another topic.
    – River
    May 7 '20 at 13:47

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