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Andrew78

Why chinese people often repeat the same verb twice?

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Andrew78

Why chinese people often repeat the same verb twice?

I found written

我应该问问他

what would be the difference between 我应该问问他 abd 我应该问他?

or "我看看” instead of "我看"?. I know in same cases adjectives can be doubled to make superlative like  to say He is very tall I can write  他太高了 or  他高高了 but I don't get the using reagarding repeating the verbs twice.

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edelweis

It's called verb reduplication (the English word is kind of misleading, it implies 2 (re) x 2 (dupl-) = 4, but actually it just means 2  :P  ).

You can find some comments about its use on this Chinese Grammar Wiki page.

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Guest123

Verb reduplication means that action is done once or/and is of very short duration.

 

应该问他  means simply "should ask him", 应该问问他 indicates that you only ask him one short question.

我看看 means "Let me take a look; I'll take a glance", 我看 can mean "I'm watching (looking)" or "I think; in my view".

 

Adjectifs are reduplicated in order to stress the quality expressed by that adjectif, but I think it's not correct to use 了 in that case, usually it's 的 that follows reduplicated adjectif  ‘高高的‘, 不是 ‘高高了’。

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Andrew78

Thank you to both of you, your answer was really helpful!

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somethingfunny

But the main reason is that it sounds really cool.

 

Especially when hilarious Chinese people use it when they are speaking in English...

 

Chinese person: "Give it to me, let me see see."

Me: "Aaaaahahahaha."

 

But seriously, I do think it sounds cool.  You should also be aware that the same sentiment can be expressed in numerous forms, as in:

 

看看

看一看

看一下

看一眼

 

all have roughly the same meaning.

 

This reminds me of when I first started using QQ and I'd ask someone a question and they would just reply with "==".

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Messidor

Verb reduplication in Mandarin (现代汉语普通话) usually has the meaning of “small(er) amount" or "try", and it sometimes softens the tone, for example, 你等等我 means wait a second (I'm on my way), 我来尝尝 means let me try a bite so I can decide whether it's tasty or disgusting. As with 我应该问他, it means I should ask him (because I should do it in this way or because I want an answer), while 我应该问问他 means I should try to ask him about it (because this is the way I can consider or because maybe I can get an answer).

 

btw in some dialects verb reduplication has different meanings.

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