看看 (reduplicated verb) / 看一点儿

ThePellican

Banned
Neapolitan,Italian - Naples
Hi everyone!
I'd like to know whether the repetition of verbs has the same meaning of 一点儿, I mean, I know we use the repetition of some verbs to make their action less intense.
E.g. 你看看他的足球赛。
So, my question is : can 一点儿 do the same ? Since it means, a little/ little
E.g. 你看一点儿他的足球赛。
Or am I wrong ?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
:)
 
  • Not really.
    The first sentence is understood as a soft command or suggestion.
    Because there is no imperative mood in Chinese, we often resort to some patterns to identify commands from statements, for example, by adding words like 请, 给我, or repeating the verb.
    When you say 看看, you merely want to make the sentence sound softer, rather than to really convey “watching a little” as it literally means.
     

    SuperXW

    Senior Member
    I'd like to know whether the repetition of verbs has the same meaning of 一点儿, I mean, I know we use the repetition of some verbs to make their action less intense.
    E.g. 你看看他的足球赛。
    So, my question is : can 一点儿 do the same ? Since it means, a little/ little
    E.g. 你看一点儿他的足球赛。
    Or am I wrong ?
    I understand your question, but to discuss your examples, could you tell us what exactly you want to express in English so we can compare? Give us a context for them would be better.
    Even in Chinese, 你看看他的足球赛 or 你看一点儿他的足球赛 could both be interpreted differently according to the context.

    Anyway, basically,
    repetition of verb gives the feeling of "doing it from time to time, occasionally, without concentration".
    verb+一点儿 or 点儿 gives the feeling of "doing it a little bit, partially, not thoroughly, not completely involved".
    They are indeed similar, but 点儿 is not "compatible" with some situations.

    My examples:
    你读这份报道。 “You read this news report.” -> You probably should do it now.
    你读读这份报道。"You read read this news report." -> You should try. Take your time.
    你读点儿这份报道。:warn: "You read a bit this report." Generally wrong. “This report” is a whole piece. It's strange that you just read "a bit" of it and not finish the story.
    你读点儿这 些 报道。:warn: "You read a bit these news reports." Generally wrong. 点儿 "a bit" is not compatible with 些 "some".
    你读读报道。"You read read news report." -> You (should) read some news reports, take some time.
    你读点儿报道。 "You read a bit news report." -> Similar to above. You probably read too few news report in general, not even a bit.
     
    Last edited:

    brofeelgood

    Senior Member
    English, 中文
    看看, 看一看 and 看一下 are considered imperatives (祈使句) of the same type, where a modicum of politeness has been injected into the tone of the imperative (a request/order/command) by repeating the verb (动词重叠) either in a verb verb or verb 一 verb format.

    I remember reading a short thesis on it. Search for 祈使句 看看 看一看 on any search engine and you'll find it.

    - 这份报表,你拿去看. (less polite)
    - 这份报表,你拿去看看/你看一看/你看一下. (more polite)

    - 就在抽屉里,你自己找.
    - 就在抽屉里,你自己找找/你自己找一找/你自己找一下/你自己找找看. <- the 看 here has a different function and doesn't negate the tone that's been moderated by 找找.

    看一点儿 on the other hand means something else - have a partial look at / don't look at it too much
     

    Skatinginbc

    Senior Member
    Mandarin 國語
    看一点儿 on the other hand means something else - have a partial look at / don't look at it too much
    Agreed.
    能讓我看一下胸脯吗? 這麼快? 我還沒看夠! vs. 能讓我看一点儿胸脯吗? 這麼點兒? 我一點兒也沒看到!
    你看一点儿他的足球赛 does not make too much sense to me.
    你看一下他的足球赛 is good.
     

    ThePellican

    Banned
    Neapolitan,Italian - Naples
    Thank you all for your replies.
    So, basically the repetition of verb is used for imperatives and to moderate the action of the verb, whereas 一点儿 or 点儿 convey a sense of something that goes on for a while and then ends. Have I got it?
    I know it's kind of hard to explain and I also know that I'm not as clear as I'd like to be, I'm sorry !
     

    Skatinginbc

    Senior Member
    Mandarin 國語
    Have I got it?
    No.
    basically the repetition of verb is used for imperatives and to moderate the action of the verb
    Basically repetition of verb is to soften the tone (or "moderate" the verb):tick:.
    Basically repetition of verb is used for imperatives :cross:. Although it is often (not always) associated with requests or suggestions, its use is not restricted to an imperative mood (e.g., 我答應讓他看看; 他看看我, 我看看他).
    一点儿 or 点儿 convey a sense of something that goes on for a while and then ends.
    That would be 一下 "for a little while".
    一点儿 is associated with objects that can be conceptually partitioned. The key word is "partial" in the following statement:
    看一点儿 on the other hand means something else - have a partial look at / don't look at it too much
     
    Last edited:

    ThePellican

    Banned
    Neapolitan,Italian - Naples
    If 看一点儿 means " have a partial look " then we can say it is something that is done for a little while, whereas the repetition of 看看 suggests that the action is done in a softer tone.
     

    brofeelgood

    Senior Member
    English, 中文
    他看了一点儿就走了 - He watched a bit of it and left. The emphasis is on "what quantity" of it he watched. It's possible he spent a considerable amount of time watching it.

    Example:
    这一章,他(虽然)花了老半天的时间,(但)也只看了这么一点儿.
    He didn't make any progress on the chapter, despite spending the better part of the day reading it.

    他看了一会儿/一下就走了 - He watched it for a little while and left. The emphasis is on "how much time" (or rather, how little time) he spent watching it.
     
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