I'm trying to figure out the most appropriate way to say "light a candle" would it be 点蜡烛 or would 点燃蜡烛 be more commonly heard?

  • Both can be OK. The 2nd way is more normal.
    – xqMogvKW
    Sep 19, 2014 at 4:52
  • 点蜡烛 - light a candle; 点燃蜡烛 - light up a candle
    – 杨以轩
    Sep 19, 2014 at 10:35

4 Answers 4


I think 点蜡烛 is more common as it is more used in daily speaking. 点燃蜡烛 is more formal to me and sounds like written Chinese.

I come from HK so I am not sure the usage in other places.

  • 1
    You can also say 點著蠟燭 [diǎnzháo làzhú] (to light a candle).
    – rramphal
    Sep 19, 2014 at 5:57
  • The 著 in 點著蠟燭 means "already", which makes the whole thing "lit a candle / some candles already", so use this phrase depends on the context.
    – Pete C.
    Sep 20, 2014 at 10:09
  • ^ That's only one of the meanings. Of course you can say 去點著蠟燭 "Go light some candles already". In that case, the candles are not lit. So, depends.
    – Pete C.
    Sep 20, 2014 at 10:17

点蜡烛is an imperative sentence I like to say 点一下蜡烛,if I ask someone to light the candle.


点燃 is sth seems more like light ... to make it burn. And since candles will not literally be on fire (燃), it is improper to say so.

The structure is like "I knock-ed him unconscious." (我 打晕 了他。). Literally "I hit him to make him faint".


点蜡烛 is more common.

点 means "to light", 燃 means "to light/ burn".

We need efficient communication in daily life, therefore, 点蜡烛 is okay.

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