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bopomofo2

The difference between 或者 (huo4 zhe3) and 还是 (hai2 shi4), 作 (zuo4) and 做 (zuo4)?

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bopomofo2

Actually there are several other word pairs/groups which have been confusing me because of their similar meaning and supposedly different usage, but these two pairs confuse me the most. What is the difference between 或者 and 还是, 作 and 做? Both means "or" and "do/make" respectively. When do you use one and not the other? Ok, 还是 actually means "still" but I think they are used very often in the "or" situation.

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HashiriKata

Just a very brief answer:

或者 and 还是: Use 或者 in a statement and 还是 in a question, such as "Either you or (或者) me will have to be here." or "Do you want go or (还是) do you want to stay?"

作 and 做: Use 做 generally, especially when it's not in combination with another character. 作 is best used through imitation.

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GreatFrank

[或者&还是]actually in proper chinese, 或者&还是,can be transformed directly from one tothe other.

they are equelly the same.

[做&作] 做is a verb with the meaning of "make"or "do", e.g.做蛋糕make a cake/ 做作业do the homework; but 作 is a noun e.g.作业homework/作品opus;

做&作also can be interesting used together as 做作,which means "affectation".

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L-F-J
actually in proper chinese, 或者&还是,can be transformed directly from one tothe other.

they are equelly the same.

really? in "proper" chinese? since when? :)

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wrbt

Regarding 或者 vs. 还是 I remember that was one of my conquests in learning Chinese over the last couple years... no longer having to stop and think about which one to use. It's interesting the little insignificant steps like that are barriers you don't realize you've passed until one day you think "wow I used to have to think before saying that."

There are many of those little victories eh?

- Using "就" naturally somewhere in a sentence and recalling how much that word confused at first since it seemed to translate so many ways and

- Reading "了解" without translating "le" at first in your head.

Actually I'm derailing into a whole different thread, I'll stop.

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denney

oh,a very interesting question.i'd really like to clarify the differences of them.in the first place ,i ould like to say that it's very easy for me to distinguish the differences of them,besides,i also see that it's a very troublesome work for us to learn a foreign language in the beginning.but we must overcome the difficulties by ourselves .there is no other choices for us.to be frank,i am chinese,i am in university ,majoring in english department.it's really very boring for us to distinguish the differences of many words.but we must do that by ourselves.but if you live in a environment where people speak english,it's very easy for you to learn it very well.as for the differences.maybe it's a little difficult for me to clarify them very clearly.especially 或者 and 还是.both words have the similar meaning.they mean that you must make a choice.it's very abstract to explain it.i think i should give some examples.

1Eg:would you like some tea or coffee?(so here you can use each of them,but "还是"is better.but i really want to tell you you'd better use 还是,don't use 或者.but i can uderstand you if you use that.just because it sounds a little strange)

2Eg:when will you go home,today or tomorrow?(so here you should use 还是.but not absolutely,that will depends on how will you translate the sentence.there are many different ways to translate it into chinese.)

3Eg:There is a problem for you to solve and you can handle it by yourself or consult your frineds.(so here you can only use 或者,and never use 还是.

in a word,there are so many things i can't clarify.if you really want to know more about chinese,who can help you is just yourself.no one can do more than yourself.i hope this can help you a little.

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L-F-J

i think it was explained in simple terms earlier.

generally, 还是 is used in questioning "this or that?", whereas 或者 is used in stating "this or that".

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Mandarin Review

1, 或者huòzhě and 还是háishì both can be translated as ‘or’ in English,

by linking up two words or phrases that indicate different alternatives.

或者huo4zhe3 is usually used in statements and 还是hai2shi4 in questions.

For example:

(1) A:你 想 喝茶, 咖啡 还是 水?

nǐxiǎng héchá, kāfēi háishì shuǐ ?

B:我 想 喝茶 或者 咖啡。

wǒxiǎng hēchá huòzhě kāfēi.

(2) A:你 这个 周末 想 去打篮球 还是 去 踢足球?

nǐ zhègè zhōumò xiǎng qù dǎ lánqiú háishì qù tīzúqiú.

B:打 篮球 或者 踢足球 都 可以。

dǎlánqiú huòzhě tīzúqiú dōu kěyǐ.

(3) A:你 想 坐 地铁 还是 大巴?

nǐ xiǎng zuò dìtiě háishì dàbā?

B:我 不想 坐 地铁 或者 大巴。 我 想 坐 出租 车。

wǒ bùxiǎng zuò dìtiě huòzhě dàbā. wǒ xiǎng zuò chūzū chē.

2,when 还是háishì is used to signify making a selection after considering two or more options,

it means ‘had better / better’ in English. For example:

(1) A: 你想 坐大巴 还 是 地铁?

nǐ xiǎng zuò dàbā hái shì dìtiě?

B:还是坐 地铁 吧.

háishì zuò dìtiě ba.

(2) A:你想 学 中文 还是 法文?

nǐxiǎng xué zhōngwén háishì fǎwén?

B:还是 学 中文 吧.

háishì xué zhōngwén ba.

(3) A:你想 吃 中国 菜,法国菜 还是 美国菜?

nǐxiǎng chī zhōngguó cài, fǎguócài háishì měiguócài ?

B:还是 吃 法国菜 吧.

háishì chī fǎguó cài ba.

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马盖云

Mandarin Review... welcome, and all that, but why would you dig up a 4 year old topic to respond to, especially one that had been effectively answered? How would you even find such an old topic to reply to? :blink:

That said... it was a very nice and well done explanation! Hopefully it will benefit some new learner! :rolleyes:

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