Stay casual!

Today we’re going to talk about verb duplication in Chinese 🙂 It gets used when you want to express doing something that’s casual, not difficult, or won’t take a lot of time at all.

You can use it in many situations, like when you want to try on some clothing at a store:

可以试试吗? (kěyǐ shìshi ma?) Is it okay to try (this) on?

Or when you’re talking about hobbies, something relaxing:

我喜欢听听音乐、看看电视、等等。 (Wǒ xǐhuan tīngting yīnyuè, kànkan diànshì, děngděng.) I like listening to music, watching TV, etc.

Did you notice the tone sandhi there? With single character verb duplication, the repeated word loses its tone!

And by mentioning the thing about single character verb duplication, we can now talk about this: yes, you can do it with double character words too! Some examples include:

考虑考虑 (kǎolǜ kǎolǜ) to have a think (about something)

讨论讨论 (tǎolùn) to discuss (something)

Note that the tone sandhi doesn’t apply here! Yes, weird, we know 🙂

Plus, it just sounds nice to repeat yourself 😛

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