difference between 碰,触,碰触 and 触碰?The dictionary differences are not clear.


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    There is no reason why sometimes Chinese use one charactor or sometimes two charactors to represent the same things, all due to habits or only for sounding well. You may say 别碰, 别摸, 请勿触碰, 请勿触摸 but not 请勿碰, 请勿摸. for example: generally, the word 别... follows with a word of single characters, while 请勿... follows a word of double charactors. if you break the rule, people may think that sound strange. – xenophōn Apr 30 at 5:53
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    You should known that in Chinese sometimes the two characters from a word have the same meaning. Due to historical reasons, only the one of two characters is used in some cases, and also the whole word must be used in some other cases. – xenophōn Apr 30 at 6:01
  • thank you for the clear explanation – jinglingmen Apr 30 at 6:58
  1. is very rarely used alone in modern Chinese. however, is, and in fact frequently so. You see it in 別碰! (Do not touch!), for example.

  2. 觸碰 is far more common than 碰觸 albeit meaning exactly the same.

  3. 觸碰 is more written than . So you see signs written like 請勿觸碰 ('Please do not touch'), but never *請勿碰.

  4. is also polysemous, so if you intend the meaning 'to come across sb.', as in 我碰到他 (where I intend to mean 'I came across him' here; it also can mean 'I touched him'), you should not write it as 我觸碰到他, which can only literally mean 'I touched him' (also more written).

  • 我碰到他。 In this sentence can 碰 be replaced with 遇/逢? – jinglingmen Apr 27 at 8:26
  • @jinglingmen 遇 yes, 逢 no. 碰到 is slightly more unexpected than 遇到. – L Parker Apr 27 at 8:28
  • Note it is idiomatic to say 與+sb.+相逢, as in 我與他相逢 (very literary). But never *逢到. – L Parker Apr 27 at 8:59
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    Can this 相逢 be replaced with 相遇? – jinglingmen Apr 27 at 11:52
  • @jinglingmen yes! In fact 相遇 is much more common than 相逢. – L Parker Apr 27 at 12:03

I find 触 to be used if there was intention to touch, like in 触及 and 触摸. 触 is used in general for the sense of touch, often done with intention and the contact from touch is longer. 触 has horn 角 as the meaning component. A bull headbutts with its horns on purpose.

For 碰 the "bumping" is often coincidental or accidental, and the "touch" often is just like a bump, the contact from touch is not long or continuous. When you "bump into somebody" at a shop for example, you didn't have plans to purposely meet that someone at the shop. I don't think anyone would 碰头 bump their head on purpose! 碰 has stone 石 as the meaning component. When a stone is rolling it cannot control where it wants to roll and hit.

  • What does 触 of 触电 mean? – jinglingmen Apr 28 at 15:11
  • 触电 is electrocution, usually from touch. You touch long enough to get a shock. There is also 碰电, which means short circuit, possibly because of wires accidentally touching each other causing the short circuit. – Fishuman Apr 29 at 9:43
  • intention to touch? – jinglingmen Apr 29 at 10:25
  • In this context is the very act of touching and how long is the contact. I will rephrase my earlier answer – Fishuman Apr 29 at 13:20
  • 触 indeed appears most often as an intended action. However, I still believe 碰 can be either intended or not. – jinglingmen Apr 29 at 14:48

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