Sunday, September 18, 2011

Reduplication of verbs in Chinese language

You must have seen verbs being repeated in Chinese language, like the one below:

学习学习 (xuéxí xuéxí)

No, it’s not a mistake. Verbs are reduplicated as shown above to denote short duration of actions. It can also be used to express an attempt. Reduplication of verbs softens the tone of a sentence, making it more relaxed and informal.

The reduplicated form of monosyllabic verbs is AA, and the reduplicated form of disyllabic verbs is ABAB:

看一看(kàn yī kàn)

想一想(xiǎng yī xiǎng)

学习学习(xuéxí xuéxí)

认识认识(rènshi rènshi)

Let’s look at some examples of how they are used in sentences:


Wǒ kěyǐ kàn yī kàn ma?

Can I look at it quickly?


Wǒ xiǎng gēn tāmen rènshi rènshi

I want to meet them

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