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3 Chinese measure words indicating “a pair”

All the Chinese characters "对", "副" and "双" indicate the same meaning of "two; a pair", but there are still some differences among them. So how do we know when to use "对 (duì)", when to use "副" and when to use "双 (shuāng)?"

这三个汉字都含有"两个"的意思,但是它们之间又存在差别。那么我们该如何辨别什么时候用"对"、什么时候用"副"、什么时候用"双"呢?

1. "对" (duì) is used for persons, animals and things with opposite sexes or sides. It can be read as "duìr" sometimes. It emphasizes the relative and complementary relationship between two things. It can be used with things and people.

"对"用于表示性别相反或具有相反面的两个人、动物或事物,有时候念儿化音。强调两者的相关和互补关系,可指人,也可指物。

一对翅膀 (yí duì chìbǎng): a pair of wings  

一对鸳鸯 (yí duì yuānyang): a pair of Mandarin ducks

一对夫妻 (yí duì fūqī): a couple

"对" can also be used for two persons or things of the same type.

"对"也可以用于表示两个同类的人或物。

一对电池 (yí duì diàn chí): a pair of batteries

一对姐妹 (yí duì jiě mèi): two sisters

2. "副" (fù) is used for the complete set of things, maybe two or more.

"副"用于表示成套的东西,可能是两个,也可能是多个。

一副对联 (yí fù duì lián): an antithetical couplet

一副碗筷 (yí fù wǎn kuài): a set of tableware

一副扑克 (yí fù pū kè): a deck of playing cards

"副" is also used with facial expressions, like "a pitiable look", "a smile". 

也可用于面部表情,如:一副可怜相、一副笑脸。

3. "双" (shuāng) is usually used with objects which naturally come in pairs, like limbs and organs that are symmetric, or things that are used or worn in pairs. Usually the two things referred by "双" are very similar or even the same thing and they exist in pairs. If one part is missing, this whole object would be incomplete, cannot work well, or even become useless.  

"双"用于成双成对的物体,如左右对称的肢体、器官,或成对使用、穿戴的东西。通常,用"双"形容的两个物体非常相似,甚至一模一样,它们成对存在,缺一不可。如果缺了其中一个,整个物体就不完整,不能正常发挥作用,甚至毫无用处。

一双眼睛 (yì shuāng yǎnjing): a pair of eyes      

一双手 (yì shuāng shǒu): a pair of hands      

一双皮鞋 (yì shuāng píxié): a pair of leather shoes  

The article is translated and editted by Chinlingo. Please indicate the source for any use, reproduction or transfer. 

本文由Chinlingo编译后发布,如需转载,请标明来源。

2016-06-27

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