I've read the following two sentences today:


However, what is the difference between the 踢足球 and 踢球? I think both means playing soccer, but is there any difference?

  • I feel a bit confused about the first sentence in the example. How can someone play soccer in a car? I guess what the person meant was that he/she was playing a soccer-themed video game while inside a car.
    – tvk
    Sep 29, 2014 at 2:47
  • second "踢球" maybe meaning his job is professional soccer player.
    – user6473
    Sep 29, 2014 at 6:03

3 Answers 3


They have the same meaning on usual---playing football. For 踢球's ,it is the football in general. If we must point out the difference,there is a tiny difference merely to 踢足球 is a specific(or definite) statement, that is to say, it is more concrete. When you make sentence or want to express play football, both of them are ok.:)

  • Thanks. Then even if I use 踢球, can the people always grasp it is about soccer? And which is more popular? As to the title, sorry, that's a typo.
    – Blaszard
    Sep 28, 2014 at 2:27
  • 1
    Yeah,in china people would always(though not a hundred percent but ninety-nine percent of people would) grasp it about soccer.^_^ Eh...I think 踢球 is more popular, most cause of there is no more other balls can play,so 球 is mean to be 足球. And 踢球 is more simple and abridged . It's ok,and I am glad to help you get rid of doubt.
    – user6453
    Sep 28, 2014 at 2:55

I'd put it like this. On a character-by-character basis, 踢球 is kick-ball. Therefore, 踢球 should basically mean play a ball game where feet are used. How many such games do you know? I, for one, only know football. That is why 踢球 will be interpreted as football. To be more specific, you add the . Then, is taken as play, and 足球 is foot-ball. Similarly, I would guess 打球 is a general terms for hand-played ball games, literally hit-ball. Adding a character (syllable) just before (e.g. for basketball or for volleyball) specifies what ball you are hitting. Then again, I'm not a native, so these suggestions need to be taken with a spoon of rice.


nay guys… 踢球can be an activity of kicking any kind of balls (well?) but 踢足球is specified as playing soccer(or football, depending on if u r a british or 'murican)

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