What would be some examples of things you would 整理 and things you would 收拾 ?

Are they completely interchangeable or is there some nuanced difference ?

3 Answers 3


No, they are not totally interchangeable, just have some meanings overlapped

you can 整理數據(sort out the data) but not 收拾數據 (tidy up the data)

you can 收拾殘局 (clean up after a messy situation) but not 整理殘局 (organize a messy situation)

Both 整理房間 and 收拾房間 mean 'put the room in order/ tidy up the room'

整理房間 might include some repair work but 收拾房間 doesn't


I see it this way, the semantics of the characters used in each word reveal the usage:

整 (whole/in order) 理 (order): used for things that come into an ordered state but stay where they are:

  • 整理抽屉 (tidying up a drawer, things are still in the drawer)
  • 整理行李箱 (packing a suitcase, things are still in the suitcase)
  • 整理资料 (get documents in order, the documents are still there)

收 (collect/put away) 拾 (pick up): used for things that are put somewhere else or change place:

  • 收拾厨房 (clean up the kitchen / do the dishes, the stuff is put away)
  • 收拾垃圾 (pick up the trash, the trash is thrown away)

As an additional note, 收拾 can be used with the resultative 掉 (disappearance), whereas 整理 typically can't. E.g. 我的东西呢?我把它收拾掉了 (where's my stuff? I put it away)

There is indeed some overlap, in fact both of them can be read as "to tidy" but this likely depends on what action you are actually referring to, as in "put in order" or "put away". This is clearly seen with an object (e.g. a generic one) that can be collocated with both verbs: 整理东西 "to tidy up stuff" implies that you are bringing order, with no attention for where the object is located; whereas 收拾东西 "to put stuff away" doesn't necessary imply order, but implies a change of location.



  • 1
    谢谢朋友,请问:整理数据/收拾数据 我都可以说吗?整理残局/收拾残局 我都可以说吗?
    – Kantura
    Apr 18, 2021 at 12:57

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