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I'm reviewing vocabulary, and reached 前景, and one of its meanings is the foreground (of, say, a movie set or a photograph). ChatGPT uses 背景 as its antonym, but I'm wondering if 后景 is usable, since the antonym of 前 (in 前景) is 后 (in 后景).

I didn't find 后景 in CC-CEDICT, so I'm guessing it's rare or obsolete or something. Or maybe 后景 is the more precise, technical word.

Question: As an antonym of 前景 ("foreground"), is it better to use 后景 or 背景?

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后景 indeed exists as a word, but I dot not personally recall it being used. I think people will understand it if you use it. Of course 背景 is the more common word choice.

References: 现代汉语词典 第7版 p. 545 后景 explanation

现代汉语大词典 p. 1144

后景 explanation

画面上衬托在主体后面的景物, Background of an image

对人物、事件起作用的历史情况或现实环境, Background of an event

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背景 (background) is the right word.

It in fact matches the English words: 前 = fore, 背 = back.

I've never seen usage of 后景, which feels strange and describing some abstract thing.

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  • indeed, if I saw 後景, my first thought would be something along the lines of previous-ground, maybe in an application like photoshop with more than two "grounds" it could see use (◐‿◑)
    – zagrycha
    Commented Oct 15, 2023 at 23:21
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prefer "背景" since it is much more common in Chinese

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