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They all have a meaning of "praise", but do they have a difference?

2

These are different forms of praise that can function as a verb or a noun:

  • 称赞 - a simple praise or compliment
  • 表扬 - to laud or commend someone publicly for his/her deed or achievement
  • 夸奖 - lavish praise, sometimes can be viewed as a flattery to please someone
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2

They have similar meanings in daily usage.

I personally consider 赞扬 > 称赞 > 夸奖 = 表扬

  • 表扬 and 夸奖 are more common words and are often used when an elementary student is praised by his/her teacher for a good mark in exam. (It’s definitely natural to use them in other scenarios, but we began to use them frequently since elementary school).

  • 称赞 and 赞扬 are often for someone with greater achievements or a higher moral level, such as someone bravely fought the crime for a just cause. 扬 raises the object to a higher level, for which I consider 赞扬 greater than 称赞

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