Horse A is twice as fast as Horse B (times/倍)

Discussion in '中文+方言 (Chinese)' started by baosheng, Dec 8, 2012.

  1. baosheng Senior Member

    Canada, English

    I have a question regarding the expression "times"/倍 in Chinese. If I wanted to translate: "Horse A is two times as fast as Horse B"/"Horse A is running two times as fast as Horse B", would it be correct to say:


    The rule is that in Chinese, you usually go one "倍" down from what one would say in English, right?

    Thanks in advance/谢谢!

    PS. Oh, actually I just realized that my sentence is wrong... I originally wanted to ask about the constructions "双倍,两倍,二倍", which are "three times as fast" and not "twice as fast", I believe. Do all three of these constructions exist/are they all common in Chinese?
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2012
  2. Ghabi

    Ghabi Moderator

    Hong Kong
    Hi Baosheng! I think you can say: 骐骥跑得比驽马快一倍 (Sorry for substituting 马甲/马乙 with other words; for some reason they sound weird to my ears:eek:, not least because 马甲 happens to be an internet jargon term). If you want to use 两倍, you may say: 骐骥的速度是驽马的两倍, which sounds a bit more technical.
  3. baosheng Senior Member

    Canada, English
    Thanks for your help, Ghabi!
  4. Youngfun

    Youngfun Senior Member

    Pekino, Ĉinujo
    Chinese/Italian - bilingual
    From a mathematical point of view:

    Va = Horse A or 骐骥's speed
    Vb = Horse B or 驽马's speed

    English - "Horse A is 2 times as fast as Horse B" means: Va = 2Vb
    Chinese - 骐骥跑得比驽马快一倍 means: Va = Vb+Vb

    English - "Horse A is 3 times as fast as Horse B" means: Va = 3Vb
    Chinese - 骐骥跑得比驽马快两倍 means: Va = Vb + 2Vb

    But 骐骥的速度是驽马的两倍 means Va = 2Vb
    骐骥的速度是驽马的三倍 means Va = 3Vb

    There's a mathematical difference.
    The English structure "as fast as" means equality.
    The Chinese structure "A 比 B 快 (quantity)" means "A faster than B (exceeding this amount of quantity)"

    速度是... is equality: the speed is...
    骐骥的速度是驽马的两倍 is just: Horse A's speed is twice Horse B's speed
  5. baosheng Senior Member

    Canada, English
    Ah, those mathematical equations make it a lot easier to understand. Thanks, Youngfun!

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