闹分手

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Hi everyone. The English Wiktionary has the following example sentence for 分手 (to break up):

女友闹分手
My girlfriend wants to break up.

What is the meaning of 闹 in this context? Wiktionary gives "create a disturbance" or "be noisy" for 闹, and not "want" as the translation of this example sentence would suggest. On the other hand, I see lots of Google results for the phrase "闹分手". Is this a set phrase, or is 闹 also used with similar "disruptive" actions other than 分手? And does it have anything to do with "wanting" to do something?
 
  • thetazuo

    Senior Member
    Chinese - China
    Hi. I think you can think of 闹分手 as a set phrase. And I think 闹 suggests they quarreled and ended up suggesting breaking up as a solution to their disagreement.
    闹 literally means “go in for”, “do”, or “make” here. So they are in the process of “break up”, i.e. they haven’t broken up yet/they want to do it. You can use it for doing something negative volitionally, for example, 闹离婚. But you can also use it for doing neutral or positive things volitionally, for example, 闹革命,闹洞房.
    You can also use 闹 for something bad and nonvolitional, for example, 闹肚子.

    Hope this makes sense.
     

    Jack12345

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    闹分手". Is this a set phrase, or is 闹 also used with similar "disruptive" actions other than 分手?
    闹 here is a verb, means be doing sth..
    分手 here is noun, means separation.
    闹分手 means they are breaking up and hints the process is not peaceful or not happy.
     
    Last edited:

    albert_laosong

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    闹 itself doens't have any meaning of wanting sth.
    in some phrases, like 闹分手,闹离婚,闹分家,闹事儿,闹 just implies the parties involved are having a lot of fights with each other, the situation is quite nasty.

    Then in some other phrases, 闹革命,闹洞房, 闹肚子 , 闹 here means something else, I won't elaborate here.
     
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