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Differences between “bù duàn” and “bù tíng”

Chinese words, learning Chinese, Chinese grammar

When something keeps happening and won't stop happening, we say that it is "continuous" or "incessant". In Chinese, the words are "不断" (bùduàn) and "不停" (bùtíng). Instead of usually being adjectives, these two words are usually adverbs. However, they are used in different ways, so this article will help you distinguish when and where to use them. 

当某事一直发生而且没有停止发生时,我们说那件事是"continuous"或"incessant"。中文里,词语就成了"不断"和"不停"。这两个词不是一般的形容词,而是作为副词使用。不过,它们的使用方式不同,本文将助你区别何时及何处使用它们。

 

"不断" is usually placed before the verb it modifies, and it often requires "地" to indicate that it is an adverb.

"不断"通常放于它所修饰的动词之前,并且常需要用到"地"字以表示它是个副词。

 

Subject + 不断 + 地 + Verb

 

客户不断地改变主意,怎么办?

kè hù bú duàn de gǎi biàn zhǔ yì, zěn me bàn?

The client won't stop changing his ideas. What should I do?

 

过去的两年里,我们不断地在努力,也不断地在进步。

guò qù de liǎng nián lǐ, wǒ men bú duàn de zài nǔ lì, yě bú duàn de zài jìn bù.

For two years, we continuously pushed ourselves and continuously improved.

 

他们之间的矛盾一直不断,关系不断恶化。

tā men zhī jiān de máo dùn yī zhí bú duàn, guān xì bú duàn è huà.

The argument between them is ongoing. The relationship is consistently worsening.

 

"不停" is a little more versatile and can be placed both before the verb as an adverb, or after the verb as something that is somewhat like a complement. Either way, it means the same thing.

"不停"较为通用,可以作为副词放于动词之前或者作为类似补语的功能放于动词之后。不管哪种方式,它的意思都是一样的。

 

Subject + 不停 + 地 + Verb

 

我今天很困,不停地打哈欠

wǒ jīn tiān hěn kùn, bú tíng de dǎ hā qiàn.

I'm so tired today. I can't stop yawning.

 

感冒了,喉咙痛,还不停地留鼻水。

gǎn mào le, hóu lóng tòng, hái bú tíng de liú bí shuǐ.

I got a cold. My throat hurts and my nose keeps running.

 

吃饭的时候他一句话也不说,不停地吃。

chī fàn de shí hòu tā yī jù huà yě bú shuō, bú tíng de chī.

When he's eating, he doesn't say anything. He doesn't stop eating.

 

When "不停" comes after the verb, it behaves somewhat strangely and takes "个" before it in order to become grammatical, like so:

当"不停"放于动词之后时,它的表现有点不一样,会在前面加上"个"字以符合语法,就像这样:

 

Subject + Verb + 个 + 不停

 

孩子哭个不停,是不是发烧了?

hái zǐ kū gè bú tíng, shì bú shì fā shāo le?

The child is crying constantly. Does he have a fever?

 

今天电话响个不停,烦死了。

jīn tiān diàn huà xiǎng gè bú tíng, fán sǐ le.

The phone is ringing incessantly today, it's so annoying.

 

Translated from: AllSetLearning

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2016-06-22

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