I came across the following sentence in New Practical Chinese Reader 2, lesson 21, paraphrasing:


中国人常说: “上有天堂,下有苏杭。”意思是苏州和杭州这两个城市跟天堂一样美。它们都在中国的南方,是中国南方的“花园”。它们的美在哪儿呢?--杭州的山水和苏州的园林。苏州的园林非常有名。那些园林是过去一些有钱人请人修建的。园林里边有山,有水,有花儿,真是*一幅幅*美丽的山水画。中国的园林跟西方的园林很不一样。中国的园林好像中国画,是用水和墨画的;西方的园林好像油画,是用油彩的。因为中国古典的园林常常是画家和诗人设计的,西方的园林是建筑师设计的,所以它们的美很不一样。

I learned that 幅 is a measure word for pictures and that some verbs can be duplicated, but I don't understand the implication in this context.

My Chinese friend says it can also be done for other measure words such as 一张张 but she couldn't explain why.

2 Answers 2


重叠量词 (repetitive classifiers) are used to indicate:

  • every, or;
  • one by one, or;
  • abundance.


量词重叠还有一种形式是 “一XX” 如 “一个个” “一件件” “一趟趟”,这种形式表示的语法意义有和上面的重叠形式相同的,也有不同的。意义有三种:

  1. 表示“每一”。基本同 “XX” 重叠式。小伙子们一个个身强力壮。
  2. 表示“逐一”。表示此种意义的重叠形式作状语。我们要一件件仔细检查,不要漏掉。
  3. 表示“多”。他一次次给我打电话。

Source http://www.china001.com/show_hdr.php?dname=6FA0G51&xpos=132

This is how I would interpret the particular sentence in your question,


Within the forest garden, there are hills, rivers and flowers; a picturesque view from every angle.

  • So how would you translate it in this case? "It's indeed beautiful as every landscape painting?"
    – pg-robban
    Commented Feb 5, 2014 at 17:37
  • 1
    Here it's the first case, meaing "each". In your case, it means "Each of the gardens is like a beautiful landscape painting". Note that in the previous sentence, the subject is "那些园林", which means "these gardens".
    – Huang
    Commented Feb 5, 2014 at 18:50
  • 非常感谢. Accepted.
    – pg-robban
    Commented Feb 5, 2014 at 21:50

one reason for using duplicate measure words is to emphasis. But in this case, using "一幅幅" is a bit different from "一幅". "一幅" implies "一幅画园林的画,其中有山有水有花", and "一幅幅" means "一副画山的画,一幅画水的画,一幅画花的画".

  • Not necessarily; 一幅幅 could also imply that each of the 画 contains 山, 水, or 花. Commented Feb 6, 2014 at 1:59

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