I have been trying to figure out what is happening here since I was told by TrainChinese (a Chinese dictionary and flash cards app) that 打卡 is never used with 拉链. They referred me to 拉开. Are they wrong? Is Rosetta Stone using the incorrect phrasing in fact? I sent the screenshot to TrainChinese and they did not respond.

The full phrase in question is 我要打开外套的拉链

I'd also like a good translation included. My own translation would be "I want to unzip my jacket" or more literally "I want to open the zipper of my jacket". This led me to thinking that 打开 would also mean "to unzip" in this context. Maybe Rosetta Stone is wrong?

Screenshot of Rosetta Stone slide with phrase in question. Lower-right tile for context.

  • use 打开' in '我要打开外套'; use 拉开 in '我要拉开外套的拉链' (I have to unzip the zipper of my jacket); use 打开 in 外套的拉链打开了 (the jacket's zipper is open)
    – Tang Ho
    Nov 29, 2020 at 14:39
  • Think you r right, that is a more likely a Chinese sentence translated from the English version, rather than a native expression.
    – Shaw
    Nov 29, 2020 at 21:01
  • 1
    Would 解开 be more "native"? Nov 30, 2020 at 1:52
  • @TangHo this does seem right what you said. It makes sense. So do you feel that Rosetta Stone made a mistake here? Shaw also seems to think so. Aurus Huang below seems to agree that 打开 isn't really the right way to say it, but rather 拉开. Any other thoughts? Dec 4, 2020 at 1:09

1 Answer 1


我要打开外套的拉链 is fine. 打开 has the sense of "open". "I want to open the zipper of my jacket" is a good interpretation.

拉开(unzip) also works. E. g. 拉开拉链; 把拉链拉开;etc.

  • No, it's not natural. in Chinese, 打开 means to split the object by pulling the object apart in a perpendicular direction. You can 打开 a door, a handbag, a window, a box, etc. If you need to pull something like a string to make another object open, or to make it open along its direction, use 拉开, like a blind (with a rope), a curtain (along the rail), and, of course, a zipper. Nov 30, 2020 at 8:21
  • @AurusHuang Colloquially, it's ok. I hear people use it. I also hear 把窗帘打开 in spoken. It might not be that accurate in written. But I do hear it's used in spoken.
    – dan
    Nov 30, 2020 at 10:34
  • @AurusHuang Actually, if you search 打开拉链 or 打开窗帘 on Baidu, you would get many hits there.
    – dan
    Nov 30, 2020 at 10:39
  • Personally I haven't hear 打开拉链 ever. People around me always say 拉开拉链 and 拉开窗帘. P.S. I'm a native Chinese living in Beijing. Dec 2, 2020 at 3:27
  • @dan I appreciate you offering an answer, but I feel you left out the addressing why Rosetta Stone is using it. Aurus Huang seems to know what he's/she's talking about, being native to China - even in Beijing. Which causes me to think that Shaw above also has this right. Maybe Rosetta Stone made a mistake. Could be that it's acceptable colloquially - but I'd probably get corrected by many native Chinese if they catch me using it. Dec 4, 2020 at 1:04

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