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nipponman

作vs 做

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nipponman
Originally posted by Quest: 作什么?

应该是“做什么”吧。 :conf

and 做饭, not 作饭。

What's that second sentence that the student wrote? I can't recognize that word after 可. Is it 客气?

What's the difference between the two? My dictionary shows both of the as having the same meaning. Any sort of difference? Any help would be appreciated.

nipponman

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gato

I was curious about their usages, too, so I found some material for you.

I learned that these two characters are easily confused because 做 is a modern alternative written form for one of two ancient pronunciations of 作, the one with the meaning of "to make." The two pronunciations have merged into one, but the different characters remained.

做 is usually used when you want to say "to make." 作 is usually used when you want to say "being," "regarded as." One main exception to this distinction is with these words 写作, 作曲, in which case 作 means "to create." Note also the related 作者 and 作品.

See http://www.huayuqiao.org/articles/yuwenjianshetongxun/8004.htm [translation added]

就“当做”、“看做”来说,语言实际也不支持写做“当作”、“看作”,因为:“‘做’可以作为补语成分与前面的动词构成复音词,比如:当做、叫做、看做、扮做、变做、唤做、认做,这里的‘做’都可以用‘成’替换。这是‘作’没有的语义。”[3] 〕

[Take the example of “当做” (to treat as) and “看做" (to see as). They shouldn't be written as “当作” and “看作” because:“‘做’ can be used as a complement, combining with a verb in front to make a compound word: for example, 当做 (to treat as)、叫做 (to call as)、看做 (to see as)、扮做 (to pretend as)、变做 (to change to)、唤做 (to call out as)、认做 (to recognize as). Here, ‘做’ can substituted with ‘成’. ‘作’ doesn't have this meaning. Therefore, use 做 in these cases.]

二、“做”、“作”意义有分别或有固定的搭配时要区别对待。

应该说,“做”、“作”在有些意义上是有差别的。例如“做”有“制造”义,而“作”没有;“作”有“作品”义,而“做”没有。所以“做衣服”不能写成“作衣服”,“用这木头做张桌子”不能写成“用这木头作张桌子”,“佳作”、“成功之作”不能写成“佳做”、“成功之做”。又如“写做”与“写作”不同,所以 “写做”不能写成“写作”、“写作”不能写成“写做”。在搭配上,“作画”与“作曲”是比较固定的搭配,所以它们不能写成“做画”、“做曲”。

[We can say that there are some differences in meaning between 做 and 作. For example, 做 has a meaning of "to produce", but 作 doesn't. 作 has a meaning of "creative work product," but 做 doesn't. Therefore “做衣服” (to make clothes) isn't written as “作衣服”,“用这木头做张桌子” (to use this wood to make a table) cannot be written as “用这木头作张桌子”,“佳作” (fine work)、“成功之作” (successful work) cannot be written as “佳做”、“成功之做”。Also “写做” (to write as) and “写作” (composition) are not the same,所以 “写做” cannot be written as “写作”、“写作” cannot be written as “写做”。“作画” and “作曲” are fairly well-accepted permanent compound words [read just memorize it],therefore they cannot be written as “做画”、“做曲”。]

三、“做”、“作”意义没分别且相互可自由调换时宜选用“做”。

“做”、“作” 有些意义相同,一些相关的搭配“做”、“作”可互换。例如它们都有“写作”、“当做”义,“做诗”、“做文章”可以写做“作诗”、“作文章”,“可做肥料”可以写做“可作肥料”。此时宜选用“做”。理由是:1.“做”多用于口语;“作”多用于书面语,“含有一丝挥之不去的文言气息”[2]。而《现汉》“是以记录普通话语汇为主的”“供中等以上文化程度的读者使用”的中型词典(见《现汉》前言),宜用口语词,这样才适合普通读者。2.《现汉》将“做”“作”处理为异体字[3],“做”是正体,“作”是异体,在两可的情况下宜用正体。

[“做” and “作” have similar meanings in certain cases, when they can be used interchangeably. For example, they both have the meaning of “写作” (composition)、“当做” (to serve as). “做诗” (to write a poem)、“做文章” (to write an article) can be written as “作诗”、“作文章”. “可做肥料” (can be used as fertilizer :wink: ) can be written as “可作肥料”. I would suggest that one use “做” in these cases because (1)“做” is more often used in speech;“作” is more often used in writing and has an undeniable literary air about it. For a general readership, one should follow what is more common in speech. (2) The standard "Modern Chinese Dictionary" treats “做” and “作” as alternative forms of the same character, “做” is the standard, whereas “作” is the alternative. When both are acceptable, use the standard “做”.]

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Here's what my 金山词霸 electronic dictionary says (translation added in parentheses ).

zuò

进行工作或活动 (to work or do an activity):~活。~事。~工。~手脚(暗中进行安排)。

写文 (to compose):~诗。~文章。

制造 (to produce):~衣服。

当,为 (to be):~人。~媒。~伴。~主。~客。看~。

装,扮 (to pretend):~作。~功。~派。

举行,举办 (to hold [a ceremony]):~寿。~礼拜。

用为 (to use as):芦苇可以~造纸原料。

结成(关系)(to form [a relationship]):~亲。~朋友。

do

does

doing

perpetrate

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

zuò

起,兴起,现在起 (to rise):振~。枪声大~。

从事,做工 (work):工~。~息。~业。

举行,进行 (to do):~别(分别)。~乱。~案。~战。~报告。

干出,做出,表现出,制造出 (to act):~恶(?)。~弊。~梗。~祟。~态。~色。~为。~难。~奸犯科(为非作歹,触犯法令)。

当成,充当 (to act as):~罢。~保。~伐(做媒人)。~壁上观(人家交战,自己站在营垒上看,喻坐观别人成败)。

创造 (to create):创~。写~。~曲。~者。

文艺方面的成品 (creative work):~品。不朽之~。

同“做”。

旧时手工业制造加工的场所 (workshop):~坊。

从事某种活动 (to engage in certain activities):~揖。~弄。~死。

act as

do

make

pretend

regard as

be delivered of

fashion

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fenlan

I think gato's reply is slightly too dogmatic on a point that there is considerable confusion about among the Chinese themselves. 当作 is perfectly acceptable in Chinese - you will find it in the Contemporary Chinese Dictionary, page 2574, in the explanation of meaning 6 of 作. In fact there is variation between textbooks on the usage of 作 and 做. The Practical Chinese Reader, or at least the 1st series, as apparently there is a new series, teaches people "作饭". Lo and behold, I arrived in China to find the teachers said that was wrong, and it could only be 做饭. 作 means do in a more general sense than 做, but don't expect any standardisation of usage between textbooks. Articles on the web that claim to give an exact guide to correct usage are not more authoritative than, say, the Contemporary Chinese Dictionary. Each Chinese person will give a different account of the usage of these two characters.

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gato

Right. The site I referred to the last post is more argumentative. The author is trying to push for a greater standardization than that used in the Contemporary/Modern Chinese Dictionary.

http://www.huayuqiao.org/articles/yuwenjianshetongxun/8004.htm

This site here conforms better to actual usage. Check it out.

http://www.pep.com.cn/xiaoyu/jiaoshi/xysd/shendu1/200508/t20050815_222146.htm

It says that 当做 is preferred, but 当作 is also permissible.

(2)“成、为”之义,“作”“做”通用。其用法是附在其他动词之后构成动补结构,后面带名词或名词性短语,以表示行为或动作的结果。这种用法出于北方白话,因此常用“做”字。《汉语大词典》就以“当做”为正词条,而以“当作”为副词条,这是有词源根据的。但在这一义项上,“作”“做”完全可通用。《现代汉语词典》第1688页“做”的义项⑥释为“用做”,第706页“看”字条目的【看做】词条释为“当做”,而第1685页“作” 字条目的义项⑥释为“当作;作为”。这说明《现代汉语词典》在“作”“做”的用法上也是不统一的。《现代汉语规范字典》《新华词典》等辞书则用的是“当作”。其实比做、变做、当做、换做、叫做、看做、视做、算做、写做、用做、装做等,其中的“做”,都可以写成“作”。

"To cook" should be 做饭, not 作饭. The rule excerpted below says "作 is less active, refers to a more abstract activity or meaning. 做 is more active and refers to a more concrete activity or meaning."

Type zuofan in your Microsoft IME and see what you get.

(二)从语义特点来看:“作”表示的动作性不强,意义比较抽象;“做”表示的动作性强,意义比较具体。

前者如:作案、作保、作弊、作恶、作风、作梗、作价、作脸、作派、作数、作速、作为、作伪、作用、作证、炒作、合作、协作、运作、恶作剧等。

后者如:做饭、做手势、做游戏、做针线等。

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nipponman

Wow, thats alot of information. I ask this because, in japanese 作 is the standard, accepting all meanings 做 isn't even heard of. In my dictionary, both are used to mean, to create, etc. although my dictionary doesn't show which one is zuo4 fan4 (doesn't actually have the word),

it shows that both can be used with zuo4 fa3. So it is very confusing.

nipponman

P.s. by the way what is the homepage of this site? I've been looking for something that teachs chinese grammar in chinese (another helpful tip!) for months now.

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gato
in japanese 作 is the standard, accepting all meanings 做 isn't even heard of. In my dictionary, both are used to mean, to create, etc

Probably because in classical Chinese, only 作 existed, and the Japanese imported their Kanji from classical Chinese. 做 is a modern variant for one of two ancient pronunciations of 作, which later became a separate character.

P.s. by the way what is the homepage of this site? I've been looking for something that teachs chinese grammar in chinese (another helpful tip!) for months now.
I've looked for one, too. Maybe because the Chinese don't yet study their own grammar systematically, virtually all of the websites that came up when I googled 语法 ("grammar") were for English grammar and programming language grammar.

The site I referred to earlier is that of the People's Educational Publisher. It has section with various usage tips, including the page that described the difference between 作 and 做. Other tips deal with things like the difference between “须" and “需”, “盗” and “贼”.

http://www.pep.com.cn/xiaoyu/xuesheng/xuexi/zici/zici3/

I couldnt' find any basic grammatical information on the site, though. For that, you'll probably have to buy a book.

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nipponman

Ok, thanks gato, and everyone else too!

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fenlan

there is an interesting word that combines both zuo's: 做作, zuo4zuo, meaning "pretentious".

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自由翱翔

there is an interesting word that combines both zuo's: 做作, zuo4zuo, meaning "pretentious".

"pretentious"?Dose it mean proud,self-glorification,自命不凡?But I do not think做作means pretentious.

That is the explanation.

做作

zuo4zuo

1.[affected;artificial]∶装腔作势;故意做出某种表情、动作、姿态等

2.[do or making a thing;make;manufacture]∶从事某种活动;制作

3.[plot against;tease]∶暗算;捉弄

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fenlan

affected means pretentious. Zuozuo means pretentious according to the dictionary of praise and blame words.

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fenlan

affected means pretentious. Zuozuo means pretentious according to the dictionary of praise and blame words. How would you say pretentious?

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msittig

The link posted above by gato is good, but broken. See here:

http://www.pep.com.cn/xiaoyu/xuesheng/xuexi/zici/zici3/

 ·“未免”应是“未必”

 ·“朵而”不是“朵尔”

 ·谈“坐”和“座”

 ·“毋”和“母”

 ·“洲”和“州”

 ·“丏”与“丐”

 ·“副”与“幅”

 ·“垂”“唾”辨析

 ·“隐”和“瘾”

 ·鱼具·渔具

 ·了·瞭·嘹·潦

 ·赖·癞·籁

 ·噪·燥·躁

 ·此“博”非彼“搏”也

 ·拈·捻·捏

 ·析“折”说“拆”

 ·“炙”和“灸”不同

 ·“即”和“既”

 ·“须”和“需”

 ·析“肓”说“盲”

 ·欢“渡”新年

 ·尝·偿·赏

 ·“牙”和“齿”

 ·“马肉”看病

 ·“倍”和“半”

 ·“箸”与“筷”

 ·“黔”字误解

 ·小心“故”字

 ·别忽视常用字

 ·数字不可乱读

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Czech Cara

I wonder if someone of knowledge could give a brief intro as for historical development of the characters/morphemes. Thanks

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tony1343

I guess "affected" can mean "pretentious." However, as a native American English speaker, I have never heard it used that way in spoken language. So I wouldn't recommend using it if you want people to understand you. It is probably more common in written text.

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nipponman
I guess "affected" can mean "pretentious." However, as a native American English speaker, I have never heard it used that way in spoken language. So I wouldn't recommend using it if you want people to understand you. It is probably more common in written text.

I think affected is more of a british word than american as I've never heard it in the states, I have, however, heard it used by simon cowell on American Idol.

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tony1343

I actually didn't know it had a meaning besides "affecting something to produce an effect." Though from reading example sentences in the dictionary, I clearly would have understood the meaning through context. I guess in your native tongue it is often difficult to give a definition of something, you just use it correctly.

By the way, England's Oxford English Dictionary is a 100 times better than America's Merriam-Webster Dictionary. I guess OED online isn't free though; fortunately, I get a password through work.

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laosheep2007

I am a Chinese, and use zuo4 nearly everyday, let me say something about the daily use of these two Chinese characters 做 and 作. No matter whether a Chinese knows the accurate meaning and differences between them, he would not use "作饭" at all. Only "做饭" is used and accepted.

On the other hand, nearly everyone in China does not know the exact difference between 当作 and 当做。They think them to be the same, and use them just the same. I suppose maybe there is no difference. But I am sure when you write 当做 or 当作, nobody would think you've made a mistake. It's perfect fine to use 当作.

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mandel1luke

作 = to do

做 = to make something physically

Hence "做饭" and not 作饭 :D

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