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They are the same, they all mean “be located in (at)...” Is there any difference between 位于, 处在, 地处 and 处于? Are they interchangeable?

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位于 = located at (refers to the location of people, objects, or places)

地处: geographically located at. e.g. 'XX鎮地处華北' (XX Town is geographically located in northern China)

处于 = at/ in [mostly refers to a situation or status. e.g. 处于緊張狀態 (in a tense stage)]

处在 is an uncommon variant (almost no one use it) of 处于

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  • why in this sentence is 处在? when you use it?why not "处于"? 北京处在华北平原。 Apr 26 at 1:53
  • Either 北京位于华北平原 or 北京地处华北平原 would sound better than 北京处在华北平原. '位於' and '地处' are common compound words. 处在 is made up of two single-character words 处(locate) and 在(at). Although grammatically valid, it sounds very awkward
    – Tang Ho
    Apr 26 at 2:50
  • When you mean 位于, don't replace it with 处在; When you mean 处于, don't replace it with 处在. In short-- don't use 处在. While I am at it... when you mean 身处 [(personally located) at; in ], don't replace it with 处在 neither
    – Tang Ho
    Apr 26 at 2:54
  • Very good interpretations.
    – r13
    Apr 26 at 5:40

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