3

I think one means it hasn’t happened yet and the other means it’s already happened, but I don’t really understand what that means when trying to translate into English or when trying to think of it in some kind of context.

6

Without context, you can only break down the phrase into word types and follow the grammar rule to interpret it literally

吃(verb: eat) + 上(verb particle: successfully/ able to)+ 饭(noun: meals)

吃上饭 = successfully/ able to eat meal = able to acquire and eat food

To check this structure is universal or not, replace the noun and see if it is still grammatical

吃上龙虾 = successfully/ able to eat lobster = able to acquireand and eat lobster

~

吃(verb: eat) + 下(verb particle: down) + 饭(noun: meal/ food)

吃下饭 = eat down a meal = ingest food

To check this structure is universal or not, replace the noun and see if it is still grammatical

吃下毒药 = eat down poison = ingest poison

Longer sentences can illustrate the functions of the phrases better

1a. 他窮得快吃不上饭了 = He is so poor that he'll soon unable to acquire and eat food (= can't afford food)

1b. 有工作才吃得上饭 = You can acquire and eat food only when you have a job

2a. 他虛弱得吃不下饭了 = He is so weak that he can't eat down food (= can't ingest food)

2b. 他的病好了許多,已經吃得下饭了 = His body has recovered a lot, already able to ingest food

Studying the example, 吃上饭, and 吃下饭 mostly work with potential particles 得 or 不 (able/ unable) --> [吃(得)上饭], [吃(不)上饭]; [吃(得)下饭], [吃(不)下饭]

4

忙了一天我终于吃上饭了 -> i finally managed to eat after a busy day

this emphasises being able to.


我心情不好,下饭 -> i'm not in the mood to eat

emphasises "down"

the minimum requirement of eating is to swallow down the food, but i am not even able to do that because of bad mood.


我去学校的食堂吃下饭 or 我去学校的食堂下饭 -> i'm gonna grab some food from the uni's cafe

in this example, does not really mean "down" it's more of saying this is not going to take long.

take a computer analogy, think of this like a piece of code only costs very few cpu cycles

think of 一下 like a piece of code only costs explicitly 1 cpu cycle

1

吃下饭:eat

我们还可以在电影开始前去外面吃下饭。
We can have dinner before the film starts.

吃上饭: have something to eat, however meagre, as opposed to nothing at all

他们已经四五天没吃上一顿像样的饭了。 They haven't had a decent meal in four or five days.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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