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"父亲正忙着写信"

In this sentence, it's saying "Father is busy writing (or writing letters)." But it's using 正 and 着 to indicate that it's currently happening (in progress right now). Does "父亲正忙着写信" have ANY difference whatsoever from "父亲在忙写信"?

Thanks so much! I'm sorry for asking so many questions, but this is such an amazing resource, and I feel like asking these questions only helps the community and fellow students of this beautiful language.

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父亲 - father (subject)

正(在) - in the process of (preposition)

忙着 - busily (adverb)

写信 - writing letter (verb)

Both 正在 and 忙着 describe the verb 写信

  • 正在 indicates the verb is in a continuous state

  • 忙着 (busily) describes the manner of the verb is carrying out

You can shorten 正在 to 正 or 在

  • 父亲正忙着写信 = 父亲在忙着写信 (father is busy writing letter)

父亲在忙写信

忙着 is not often be shortened to just 忙 in normal speech,

but we can understand 父亲在忙写信 means 父亲正在忙着写信

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  • So you'd say there's no difference in feeling when you use different combinations of present-continuous? Aug 14 '21 at 18:00
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    @Joseph King 正, 在, and 正在 all mark the verb as continuous. 正/ 正在 add an emphasis on 'in the middle of'
    – Tang Ho
    Aug 14 '21 at 18:08
  • omg, you are simply too much, man. Are there private messages on this platform? I have a product idea I want to give to you. I think you'd be the perfect person to create this product. I personally feel it'd be revolutionary for Chinese learning. But I sort of don't want to just say it in public. I'm sure you would be able to create such a product, and it would definitely help the Chinese-learning community. Aug 14 '21 at 18:15
  • @Joseph King You can send a private message to me at CantoDict
    – Tang Ho
    Aug 14 '21 at 18:49

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