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What is the difference between 跟着 and 跟? All dictionaries say that both can mean the verb "to follow".

If I want to use the 着 as a "particle indicating the continuation of an action or a state", should I use it once (跟着) or twice (跟着着)?

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Other than serving as a particle indicating the continuation of an action or a state, 着 also serves an important function.

Both 跟 and 跟着 are verbs that mean "follow", however, 跟 also has the additional meaning of "and, with, to go with", which will cause ambiguity in a sentence. For example,

  • "她我" - does it mean "She and I or "She follows me"? However, the ambiguity/confusion is eliminated by adding the particle "着" - "她跟着我" (She follows me).

The expression "跟着着" is grammatically incorrect because the second "着" serves no function (which has been adequately taken care of by the particle immediately after the verb 跟).

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  • Depending on context, the second 着 in 跟着着 may be pronounced as zháo or zhuó and becomes part of the next word, where it makes sense.
    – iBug
    Aug 29 at 9:16

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