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Chinese Grammar: Lesson: Expressing “repeatedly” an action

It’s common that sometimes we do something over and over again. It’s interesting that in Chinese, we have two handy patterns: “verbing around” and a repeated verb. Today we’ll introduce them to you!

Using the structure with and

If you want to describe one action is doing over and over again, you can use and with a verb that is repeated in a sentence pattern.

Structure

Verb + + Verb +

Attention here you should put the same verb before and because this pattern emphasizes on the same action is repeating over time.

Examples

想来 还是 决定 中国
He’s been thinking it over and over, and finally decided he’s not going to China.

看来 不知 哪儿
I’ me finding all over the place and I still don’t know where he is.

办公室 走去
Don’t pace in the office!

还是 不知 这个 中文 怎么
He repeatedly asked around him, but he still doesn’t know how to say in Chinese.

Using 再三

You can also use 再三 with a verb to describe an action is done repeatedly. Literally, it means “3 times again” so you can understand it as something is happening “time and time again”. You can put both this word before and after a verb.

Structure

再三 + verb or verb + 再三

Examples

思考 再三决定 裙子
After thinking it over, I decided not to buy this skirt.

再三 挑选终于 找到 合适 礼物
He looked and looked and finally found the right gift.

妈妈 叮嘱 再三出门 在外 一切 小心
Mom reminded me, again and again, to be careful when I was out alone.

再三 抱怨 自己 没有 。 She is complaining over and over that she didn’t do well on the test.

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