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遍 / 次

Discussion in '中文+方言 (Chinese)' started by chanveil, Dec 30, 2010.

  1. chanveil Banned

    I have seen both of these characters translated as "time" in the sense that you do something one more time. What is the distinction in usage of the two characters?
  2. viajero_canjeado Senior Member

    English - Southeastern USA
    Well, when it comes to the particular usage you're referring to, i.e. one time/occasion, two times, etc., they're very similar. The only way I distinguish them in this context is to say that I hear and use 次 more often and 遍 strikes me as a bit more elegant of speech.

    Lots of times, similar to English synonyms, you'll find that in one certain usage two words can overlap, but you can still tell them apart by the way they're used in other contexts. For example, you can say 次序 or 目次 but 遍 wouldn't work in either of those words as a replacement for 次. Just like "kid" and "child" mean the same thing when referring to a boy or girl, but you can only use "kid" to designate a goat's offspring.
  3. Daffodil100

    Daffodil100 Senior Member

    Generally the two characters interchangeable in the most of the contexts when it comes to "time" in English.

    • 遍 refers to the process from the very beginning to the end. Such a circle is called 一遍。
    e.g. 我走遍了。遍:completely in the context. (You cannot say 我走次了。)
    e.g. 遍地黄金。all the gold on the floor. (You cannot say 次地黄金)

    • 次:refers to the repeat of the behaviour which doesn't necessarily from the beginning to the end. 次 understores the order, 第一次,第二次,次序
    Here are the definitions from 《现代汉语词典》


    For examples:

    我看了十遍《西游记》, 每一遍都令我有新的感受。(I read the 西游记 from the very beginninng to the end for 10 times)

    Last edited: Dec 30, 2010
  4. BODYholic Senior Member

    Chinese Cantonese
    Yes, we have the same observation here in Singapore. Perhaps, people here find 遍 (bian4) comparatively difficult to pronounce than 次. :)
  5. baosheng Senior Member

    Canada, English
    I'm glad I found this thread since I'd always thought there was more of a difference between the two words (and that I was using them wrong)! It's good that they are interchangeable in most contexts.

    @Daffodil's example:
    我走遍了。遍:completely in the context. (You cannot say 我走次了。)

    This is the first time I've seen this structure before. Would it be like saying "I've finished walking" (and have done it completely in a temporal sense)? Or is it like "I've finished walking around the track" (done a complete circle and have completed a physical distance)? (or does it have a different meaning.. ?)
  6. SuperXW Senior Member

    There is still a similar one: 回.
  7. xiaolijie

    xiaolijie MOD

    English (UK)
    No, 我走遍了 simply means "I've been everywhere". 遍 here means everywhere within the area understood in the context, such as "I've looked everywhere (in my room) but I couldn't find it."
    An example: 走遍了世界 = travelled the world (to do something).
  8. baosheng Senior Member

    Canada, English
    Ah that makes sense. Thanks, xiaolijie!
  9. 维尼爱蜂蜜 Junior Member

    they can both mean times. but 遍 has the emphasis on "from top to the end". e.g.
    这本书我看过一遍。you read the whole book.
    这本书我看过一次。maybe you only read several chapters.
    去年我生了两次病。you can't use 遍here .
  10. SuperXW Senior Member

    Good point!

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