Jump to content
Learn Chinese in China

Mandarin Vocabulary Blog

  • entries
  • comments
  • views

过度 Vs. 过分




过度 and 过分 are both adjectives meaning "excessive, undue, over-", but how can we distinguish between the two when writing or speaking Chinese?

I'm not 100% sure on this one myself, it's appears that they are interchangeable for emotions such as 过分高兴 and 过度高兴. I asked a Chinese friend about the difference between the two; she replied "个人认为没啥区别,但“度”比“分”成分多" - not really helping that much.

I have broken 过度 down to two common uses:

1) describing something that you do to yourself like 饮酒 or 减肥, or even 过度治疗

2) describing an emotion 过度兴奋

过分, according to my dictionary, is used for “说话,做事”; i.e. doing something or speaking excessively. I think it emphasizes reacting excessively or "going over the top" perhaps. Rather than an objective quantity emphasized by 过度1, 过分 implies a subjective consideration of the preceding action. i.e. you are making a judgement on what has happened. 过度 appears to be more neutral/objective in this regard.

Consider this example: 因为老公过度喝酒的问题离婚是不是太过分?

This fits in with my above explanation; we have the seemingly quantifiable “过度喝酒” with the subjective reaction from the writer.

Does the common collocations 过分要求,过分强调 fit this explanation as well? I would suggest that when somebody makes a 过分要求, they are reacting based on an understanding of what is being explicitly or implicitly offered.

For example, when a customer walks into a shop, there is an implicit promise that the staff will offer the best services possible. When you 过分要求 a staff member, you are overreacting (反应过度) to the understanding of this tacit agreement.

What do you think?



Recommended Comments

I agree your explanation on 过分/过度 as an adverb.

However, as an adjective, it seems to me that 份 may refer to a Confucian's theory that every member has the responsibility of his own position. If what you do doesn't match your position, it's 过份.


- Why did you say "fxxk" to me? I'm your teacher! 太过份 (It implies that a student did something that he shouldn't do in his social status or position)

- Your husband always gets drunk and beat you like a dog, 太过份了! (it implies a

husband doesn't fulfill his responsibility and did something he shouldn't do in his position)

过度 can't be used in the above example.

Link to comment

Hi Zomac,

I think we are saying the same thing but in different ways. My mistake was to talk about them as adjectives even when in some examples they are acting as adverbs.

Link to comment
  • Create New...