2

大家好!

I noticed that in Chinese, there are two similar words for "sometimes": 有时 and 有时候. Are they any different from each other? For example, is one more formal than the other? Thanks! :)

2 Answers 2

1

有時 is the short form of 有時候, both mean 'sometimes'

Similarly:

不時 is the short form of 時不時. both mean 'from time to time'

Generally, using the full term make the speech sounds more literary, and using the shorter form make the speech sounds more colloquial

However, 有時 is so common in writing, the difference between 有時 and 有時候 became neglectable.

Example:

有時候退讓一下,對長遠利益反而有好處

有時退讓一下,對長遠利益反而有好處

(Sometimes giving in is actually good for long-term benefits) No difference in meaning and one is not more colloquial or literary than the other

有時候遲了下班,就在超市買飯盒作晚餐

有時遲了下班,就在超市買飯盒作晚餐

(Sometimes when I get off work late, I buy lunch boxes for dinner in the supermarket) No difference in meaning and one is not more colloquial or literary than the other

2
  • 1
    有時候下班遲了 instead of 有時候遲了下班
    – imkzh
    Oct 28, 2021 at 6:04
  • @imkzh I am not sure, but sometimes, Cantonese has a different way of arranging orders in a sentence than Mandarin. I guess this is one.
    – r13
    Jan 11 at 14:51
0

In day to day, I would usually use 有时候. 有时is weird and more like an opening of a poet or sound something from ancient Chinese.

You can say it's a bit more formal but you woudn't use it on it's own or in conversations. and even if you use 有时候. you would still try to add a bit more so it's easier to understand and feel more fluent.

E.g if one asks do you watch films, then you'll probably say 有时候会,or 有时候看 or 有的时候会。to put 的 in there so it's less formal.

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.