One of the elective projects on the study of Chinese culture given in my high school is as follows:


I thought this was a typo so I asked our teacher to correct it to 年轻. But she said that both words are acceptable in this context. So my questions are:

  1. Are 年轻 and 年青 both commonly used in Chinese-speaking communities?

  2. Are they always interchangeable? Or do they have any essential difference in meanings?


3 Answers 3


Both 年轻 and 年青 mean "young".

However, 年青 refers to adolescents. It's about the people at this stage.

年轻 means young; it means people who are between the ages of 10-20. but 年轻 can also be used to compare the ages; For example, person A aged 50 is younger than person B, who is at the age of 60. Even though people who are 50 and 60 are not young, but in comparison, 50 is younger than 60. You can only use 年轻 in this case.

If someone looks young, you also use 年轻 instead of 年青.

  • Reference door
    – 高鵬翔
    May 21, 2020 at 0:42
  • +1. So 年轻 can always replace 年青, but not vice versa? May 21, 2020 at 4:48
  • correct ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    – fupo
    May 22, 2020 at 1:28

Both word can be used as adjective or followed by 人, but 年轻 refer to any one that's young, so younger than 30 can all be called 年轻人,but 年青 almost only refer to adolescent. 年青 can be used as an adjective to describe someone but pretty rarely. One place you don't use 年青 is when comparing age, like in 我比你年轻十岁.


I don’t think we use 年青 very often in daily talks and in most formal articles. 年轻 or 年轻人 is much more commonly used when referring to younger people around 15-25.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.