Which of the versions listed above is better to use.

My understanding is that they are essentially the same but I'd like to hear from a native speaker how they feel about these two versions.

Is there any subtle difference ?

Let's say the complete sentence is: 我每天写日记(本)。

To 本 or not to 本 , that is the question.

3 Answers 3


写日记本 is a wrong phrase. It should be 往日记本上写 or 写在日记本上.

写日记 is a common term to mean write a diary


日记 = Diary; 本 = book. 寫(记)日记 is an activity, and 日记本 is a notepad that collects that activity over time.

  • A diary (日记) is a collection of daily activities/thoughts written down on a diary book (日记本).

  • A diary book (日记本) is a notepad for a person to write his/her diary (日记).

  • My diary (日记) is kept on (记在) that blue diary book (日记本).

I hope you see the differences.


写日记 "write diary" is more idiomatic. The word "diary" here refers to the thought and memories you put on paper, aka "diary entries"

"写(日记在)日记本" = "write (dairy) on diary book" sounds clumsy

日记本 is the physical notebook that you write your 日记 (dairy ) on

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