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! :)
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有時 is the short form of 有時候, both mean 'sometimes'
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.
(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
(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
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.