• LOGIN
  • No products in the cart.

The differences between “之间” and “中间” in Chinese

Chinese words, learning Chinese, Chinese grammar

When describing spatial relationships, the words 之间 (zhījiān) and 中间 (zhōngjiān) will come in handy to express the concepts of "between" and "among." Both have a few particular uses, though.

说明空间关系时,"之间"和"中间"这两个词便派上用场,用于表达"between"和"among"的概念。不过,两者都有一些特定用法。

 

Both can mean "in the middle"

 

Grammatically, both 之间 and 中间 are nouns. One difference between the two, however, is that 中间 can be used all by itself, but 之间 is always used together with other words.

在语法上,"之间"和"中间"都是名词。不过,两词的不同之处在于"中间"可以单独使用,而"之间"总需要与其他词一起使用。

 

Between two points in space

 

之间 and 中间 can both refer to a space "in the middle" between two points, as long as you are talking about physical space. So between Shanghai and Beijing, between my eyes, between the naughty monkey and the enraged elephant, etc.

"之间"和"中间"都可以指两点之间的空间,只要你是在描述实体空间。因此,上海和北京、两眼之间、淘气的猴子和发怒的大象之间等等都可使用。

 

Noun1 + 和 + Noun2 + 之间/中间

 

上海在江苏省和浙江省之间。

shàng hǎi zài jiāng sū shěng hé zhè jiāng shěng zhī jiān.

Shanghai is between Jiangsu Province and Zhejiang Province.

 

在沙发和桌子之间有一只猫。

zài shā fā hé zhuō zǐ zhī jiān yǒu yī zhī māo.

There's a cat between the sofa and the table.

 

For time and number ranges use 之间

 

This usage refers to examples like "between 8am and 3pm" or "a number between 32 and 51."

这个用法指的是例如"早上8点和下午3点之间"或"32和51中间的一个数字"。

 

Time1 + 和 + Time2 + 之间

Number1 + 和 + Number2 + 之间

 

你得在八点到十点之间来。

nǐ děi zài bā diǎn dào shí diǎn zhī jiān lái.

You need to come between 8:00 and 10:00.

 

三月到七月之间是旅游的好时间。

sān yuè dào qī yuè zhī jiān shì lǚ yóu de hǎo shí jiān.

Betwen March and July is a good time to travel.

 

上海的外国人数量在17万到20万之间。

shàng hǎi de wài guó rén shù liàng zài shí qī wàn dào èr shí wàn zhī jiān.

There are between 170,000 and 200,000 foreigners in Shanghai.

 

For describing location within an object, use 中间

 

This "within" could be "inside" a space (like inside a house, or inside a refrigerator). But it can also mean "in the middle of" a two-dimensional physical space, like in the middle (center) of a table, or in the middle of the screen. 之间 can't be used in this way.

这里的"within"可以是指空间的内部(如房子内部或冰箱内部)。但是它也可以表示二维的物理空间的中间,如桌子的中间或屏幕的中间。"之间"没有这种用法。

 

Noun + (的) 中间

 

房子的中间有一张桌子。

fáng zǐ de zhōng jiān yǒu yī zhāng zhuō zǐ.

In the middle of the apartment there's a table.

 

我在这一排座位的中间。

wǒ zài zhè yī pái zuò wèi de zhōng jiān.

I'm in the middle of this row of seats.

 

把花放在桌子中间。

bǎ huā fàng zài zhuō zǐ zhōng jiān.

Put the flowers in the middle of the table.

 

之间 can be used to indicate relationships

 

This usage of 之间 can refer to relationships between two people, a person and a company, two companies, two countries, etc. 中间 can't be used in this way.

"之间"的这个用法可以指两个人、个人和公司之间、两个公司、两个国家等之间的关系。"中间"没有这种用法。

 

Noun1 + 和 + Noun2 + 之间

 

父母和孩子之间应该多交流。

fù mǔ hé hái zǐ zhī jiān yīng gāi duō jiāo liú.

There should be plenty of communication between parents and children.

 

中美之间还有很多问题需要解决。

zhōng měi zhī jiān hái yǒu hěn duō wèn tí xū yào jiě jué.

There are a lot of issues between China and the USA which need to be resolved.

 

我们之间什么话都说。

wǒ men zhī jiān shén me huà dōu shuō.

The two of us can talk about anything.

 

你要学会处理上下级之间的关系。

nǐ yào xué huì chù lǐ shàng xià jí zhī jiān de guān xì.

You need to learn to handle the relationships between superiors and subordinates.

 

中间 can also mean "among"

 

中间 is used when referring to "one or more among many".

提及"多人中的一个或多个"时,可以使用"中间"。

 

Noun + (的) 中间

 

你们中间有会唱歌的吗?

nǐ men zhōng jiān yǒu huì chàng gē de ma?

Can anyone among you sing?

 

这些人中间只有一个我认识。

zhè xiē rén zhōng jiān zhī yǒu yī gè wǒ rèn shí.

Among these people, there's only one I know.

 

Translated from: allsetlearning

Please visit Chinlingo for Chinese learning.

2016-06-21

0 responses on "The differences between "之间" and "中间" in Chinese"

    Leave a Message

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Copyright ©right 2017 Chinlingo Inc. All rights reserved.