What is the difference between these two words 叫做 and 叫作? The dictionary definition is quite similar and when I use this term in conversation I am unaware of which character combination I am using.


3 Answers 3


They have same meaning, same usage and same pronunciation, basically you don't need to figure out them consciously especially in spoken Chinese.


And here're some more clarifications; it seems 叫做 is the standard usage formerly, but 叫作 is recommended more now.







Reference: 叫做还是叫作?

  • 2
    This answer seems rather incomplete, but the references you've given are useful. Traditionally 叫做 has been the correct form, but 叫作 might be shifting into standard usage. There doesn't seem to be a lot of consensus...
    – DaoWen
    Commented May 26, 2014 at 6:26
  • Actually there is some what of a consensus. 规范词典:现在一般写作“叫做”。
    – Mou某
    Commented May 26, 2014 at 7:23
  • Both links are broken to me.
    – Nobody
    Commented Jun 1, 2018 at 6:34
  • @scaaahu Sadly I can't find them back.. I refactored the answer.
    – user4072
    Commented Jun 1, 2018 at 7:40

叫做 is more casual and 叫作 is less casual. Usually in Cantonese Chinese, we use 叫作 in writing and 叫做 in speaking.


My wife - native Chinese speaker - thinks 叫作 is the correct way to write this even though 叫做 translated literally has the same meaning.

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