过(上)好日子

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yuechu

Senior Member
Canada, English
Hello/大家好,

I recently heard the following on TV:
“。。。就想让孩子们过上好日子”
What is the function of 上 here? Can the word 上 be omitted? Is 过好日子 an "abbreviation" of 过上好日子?

Thanks!
 
  • retrogradedwithwind

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    In my opinion,
    过好日子 live a happy life
    过上好日子 able to live a happy life ; live a happy life as a result.

    You can consult what was discussed in your previous post.

    And here, it means almost the same with or without 上.
     
    Maybe 上 implies a transition of state, for example, get to be able to live a happy life. 上 can be omitted. 过好日子 is not a transition but a long process.

    I think we prefer to add 上 when when you want to emphasize the result (as implied by 想, because you just want the result) or the difficulty (上 is a potential complement) of the verb.

    Similarly, 杀/杀死 and 当/当上 are used in the same way.
     
    Last edited:

    brofeelgood

    Senior Member
    English, 中文
    I guess 过上 sounds nicer than a lone 过.

    Auch:
    - 过上好日子
    - 过些好日子
    - 过点好日子
     

    Messquito

    Senior Member
    Chinese - Taiwan 中文 Taiwanese Hokkien 臺語
    上, literally "up/on/above/...", gives an image of going up and reach something or going up up and up to a certain degree/extent.

    With the going-up-and-reach-something image, 上 implies transition and gives a sense of "starting to..."
    Without 上 it's just only a state of being or a fact.
    For example,
    愛上=fall in love with...(=start to love...)
    愛=be in love with (=be in a state of loving somebody/love)
    喜歡/喜歡上is a similar case as above
    當上=become/come to be (followed by an occupation such as teacher 老師, doctor 醫生...) (start to be)
    當=1.be (can also be followed by an occupation, implying your character/role in a society, so oftentimes it is followed by a place or an area, as in, 我在學校當老師(I'm a teacher in school.) or 我在那間公司當老闆(I am a boss in that company.). Otherwise, if we are saying "I'm a teacher" without "in school", we would use 是 instead of 當, as in 我是老師。
    2.play (followed by a character/role in a play, show or game)
    閉上=close (the subject can be a person or eyes)
    閉著=be closed, leave/keep (one's eyes) closed (the subject can be a person or eyes)
    ...

    With the going-up-up-and-up-to-a-certain-degree image, it implies how far your act has gone, or how well you have done the act. I think it's the case of 過上好日子
    For example,
    ...睡上三天 (...sleep for up to 3 days.)
    ...吃上十碗飯 (...eat up to 10 bowls of rice.)
    So let's just say 好日子 is a goal and you want to go up and reach the goal, you want to live up to the goal, so you use 過上 instead of 過.
    So when you use 過上好日子, it's like you have a goal of 過好日子 and you want to be able to do it.
    When you use 過好日子, you are merely expressing a truth that's already there.
     
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