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So I learned recently that you can do two things in Chinese

  • repeat the verb (such as in 看看)
  • append 一下 to the verb to denote a shorter duration (in this case, look for a moment).

I was just wondering, can you use both at once? For example, could I say "你看看一下我的书,好吗?" to, in this case, ask someone to look at my book for an extremely short period of time?

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Very interesting question, yes, you can repeat the verb, but except 看看, most of the time, people use this kind of trick just to show cuteness. Especially the girls will do this.

摸摸 Touch

我摸摸小狗.I gently touch the puppy

And 一下 is often used in this kind of situation

你过来一下好吗? Would you come here for a second?

So, in theory your sentence 你看看一下我的书,好吗 is correct, but we never speak this way.

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Short answer: no.

As you explained, 看看 and 看一下 have the same meaning, so use both of them does not make sense.

If you want to emphasize it's a very little bit time, you can say:
你看看我的书,好吗?就(只)看一下

  • I agree with this, I would say "看看一下" is redundant, too. And I think repeated verbs such as 看看 摸摸 跑跑 想想 come from the abbreviations of 看一看 摸一摸 跑一跑 想一想 (I learned this in my first grade of elementary school) so it's strange to put "看(一)看" and "一下" together – Yafufu Mar 12 '14 at 0:49
  • @Yafufu Interesting thought. Maybe you're right. – songyuanyao Mar 12 '14 at 1:17
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normally I don't use repeated verb with 一下,not sure if it's legit but it does sound weird.

in that case. 看一下 would be sufficient.

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We can say:

我略微看了一下。
我稍微看了一下。
我大略看了一下。
我粗粗看了一下。
我匆匆看了一下。

Or

我略微看了看。
我稍微看了看。
我大略看了看。
我粗粗看了看。
我匆匆看了看。

Note: the difference between 看了一下 and 看了看 is that:

看了一下 means take ONE look at it, and its time duration is very short.
看了看 means take a FEW looks at it, and its time duration is a little longer.

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