我在<工作 / 上班>

piano0011

Senior Member
Hokkien
#1
I have read somewhere that adding the word "zai" infront of an action word will turn it to present tense? or in the ing tense? I also understand that "shangban" is more commonly used than "gongzuo". Just to make sure that I get this right....

1) wo zai gongzuo = wo zai shangban? = I am working?
 
  • Ghabi

    AL/OL/Ar/Zh mod
    Cantonese
    #2
    我在工作 means "I'm working", but it's not used interchangeably with 我在上班, as 上班 implies a certain routine.

    For example, one says 我上班去了 when one leaves home and goes to the office in the morning. On the other hand, when a freelancer is working at home, he would say 我在工作/我在忙 instead of 我在上班.
     

    piano0011

    Senior Member
    Hokkien
    #3
    I was going to ask but you may have confirmed this already. So, can I say, ta qu shangban le = ta qu gongzuo le= he has gone to work?
     

    piano0011

    Senior Member
    Hokkien
    #5
    So there is a difference in terms of meaning. Shangban is used more for office work whereas gongzuo can be any type of work in general. So how would I know which one to use? I guess I would assume that one has a good profession and would use shangban to show respect?
     

    SuperXW

    Senior Member
    #6
    That's a strange question. If you are the speaker to state the fact, of course you would know which one suites the situation. Why don't you?

    And shangban does not mean the person has a good profession. The person may either go to a good office, or a poor factory for a pity physical work (that's why I wrote "working place"). Shangban means the daily routine for one to go to the place regularly (usually weekdays. It's his job and duty).
    Bosses, successful people, famous people usually do not need to go to their office everyday (shangban), so shangban really doesn't mean any good profession.

    gongzuo is a formal word, even more formal than shangban. It is the equivalent of "work". One can shangban (go to his office) but buzhuanxin gongzuo (does not focus on his work). A man focusing on his "work" doesn't need to be in a specific place.
     
    Last edited:

    piano0011

    Senior Member
    Hokkien
    #7
    I am also just wondering if I can say the following sentences?

    1) ni3 zuo4 shen2me gongzuo = what work do you do?

    2) ni3 zuo4 shen2me shang4ban4
     

    SuperXW

    Senior Member
    #8
    I am also just wondering if I can say the following sentences?

    1) ni3 zuo4 shen2me gongzuo = what work do you do?

    2) ni3 zuo4 shen2me shang4ban4
    1) is correct. 2) is wrong.
    In 1, "work" clearly becomes a noun, which means "job", "career".
    shang4ban1 cannot become such a noun. Actually, shang4ban1 itself has a [verb+object] structure. shang4 has the meaning of "go (somewhere)", and ban1 has the meaning of "job, work shift".
    zuo4 shen2me shang4ban1 "do what go work shift" does not make any sense.

    I suggest you to study the meanings of basic Chinese characters, instead of trying to substitute every word you think have similar functions.
    If you've got the idea of shang4 and ban1, you'll understand that shang4 shen4me0 ban1 is possible.
     
    Top