to read

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Senior Member
Canada, English

I was recently trying to translate the verb "to read" into Chinese and noticed that there are both "读书" and "看书". Do these verbs mean the same thing? The WR dictionary says that 读书 also means "to go to school".
But if someone says 我现在在读书, it means they are reading, not going to school, right? (I am curious, in what context would 读书 mean "to go to school"? Would you agree with this translation?)
  • SuperXW

    Senior Member
    As you said, 读书 have three possible meanings:
    1. 看书,阅读书籍
    2. 朗读书本,出声阅读
    3. 上学学习,做学生(并非“去学校”)
    The context is crucial. 我现在在读书 usually mean "I'm a student now", if the topic is "what do you do" etc.
    Other examples:
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    读书 has two meaning that "to go to school" and "reading"
    看书 just mean "reading"
    to go to school = 上学
    i am a student = 我现在在读书/我是一个学生
    i am reading = 我正在看书
    and there has another verb “念书” also has these two meaning like 读书,but when it use to say "reading" it means someone read the words of book out lout
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