Making Sense of Grammar
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What are the differences between the measure words cì (次), biàn (遍) and tàng (趟)?

asked May 3 in Questions about Chinese Grammar by admin (19,380 points)

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Cì (次), biàn (遍) and tàng (趟) are the most common words used in the complement of occurrence, which indicates how many times an action occurs. All of these words can mean "time(s)" as in "twice", "three times", etc.

Cì (次) is usually used for an instantaneous action that does not last, whereas biàn (遍) is used to indicate an action that has an obvious beginning and end. Also, 遍 indicates the same process or experience each time an action is repeated; 次 is used when the process or outcome is not entirely the same.

這本書我已經看了兩遍了,有空的時候,我想再看一遍。

zhè běn shū wǒ yǐ jīng kàn liǎo liǎng biàn liǎo , yǒu kōng dí shí hòu , wǒ xiǎng zài kàn yī biàn.

I have read this book twice already. When I have free time, I want to read it one more time.

你去過幾次中國?(去 is an instantaneous action.)

nǐ qù guò jī cì zhōngguó?

How many times have you been to China?

Tàng (趟) is used to indicate the number of trips one make to a place.

我上星期跑了兩趟電影院,都沒有買到票。

wǒ shàng xīng qī pǎo liǎo liǎng tàng diàn yǐng yuàn , dū méi yǒu mǎi dào piào.

I made two trips to the cinema last week, but I didn't get tickets.

Reference: YUFA! A Practical Guide to Mandarin Chinese Grammar

 

answered May 3 by admin (19,380 points)
edited May 3 by admin
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