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Chinese Grammar: Lesson Part 2: Two more ways to say just a little bit

You learned recently that 一下 is used to do something briefly (go here to read that lesson). Two other structures and patterns have the same function and also show you want to do something just a little bit. Let's see what they are and how they work!

Verb duplication

In Chinese, you can repeat certain things to show you’ll be doing them "a little bit", or that they are happening briefly. It gives the whole sentence a more relaxed and casual tone. It also sounds cuter. Kid books in Chinese are full of verb reduplications!


Subject + Verb + Verb + Object

Monosyllabic verbs are often used in this structure, such as to read, to look, to try, to ask …


I’m taking a little look.

Go ask!

Try it on!

介绍 介绍
Let me introduce you (this)…

The "Verb Verb" pattern

This pattern works in the same way as the "VV" pattern we just saw; just insert a between both verbs! It also softens the tone of the sentence and makes it sound more relaxed.


Subject + Verb + + Verb + Object


Please tell me.

Can I have a quick look at this book?

我们 今天 下午 篮球
Let’s play a little basketball together this afternoon!

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