City University of Hong Kong CLASS CLASS
Making Sense of Grammar
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asked Nov 2, 2020 in Questions about Chinese Grammar by Mickey (7,360 points) | 367 views

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平(píng)凡(fán) is a neutral word with the meaning of ‘ordinary’ while 平(píng)庸(yōng) is a derogatory term with the meaning of ‘mediocre’.

The difference lies in the semantic distinctions of 凡 and 庸. The former means ‘ordinary/common’

while the latter means ‘unwise/mediocre’.

For example:

一(yí)个(gè)人(rén)可(kě)以(yǐ)平(píng)凡(fán),但(dàn)是(shì)不(bù)可(kě)以(yǐ)平(píng)庸(yōng)

One person can be ordinary, but should not be mediocre.
answered Nov 2, 2020 by Mickey (7,360 points)

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1,616 questions
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15,645 users