Expressing "each other" with "bici"
彼此 (bǐcǐ) is a personal pronoun. 彼 (bǐ) is an archaic word meaning 那 (nà) or "that," and 此 (cǐ) means 这 (zhè) or "this." Therefore, 彼此 (bǐcǐ) literally means "that and this," and is used in modern times to mean "you and me".
Basic Usage as Subject or Object
As a personal pronoun, 彼此 (bǐcǐ) is often used as a subject. When used as an object, the verb must be disyllabic and is quite formal in tone.
彼此 + Predicate
Verb + 彼此
- 我们 只 见 过 一 次 ，彼此 不 是 很 了解 。We've only met once. We don't know each other well.
- 我们 是 一个 团队 ，彼此 应该 多 沟通 。We're a team. We should communicate more.
- 我 很 尊重 我 的 对手 ，我 希望 彼此 都 能 有 好 的 表现 。I respect my opponent very much. I hope we both can perform well.
- 我们 是 一家人 ，必须 好好 照顾 彼此 。We're a family. We must do a good job looking after each other.
- 好 朋友 总是 会 陪伴 彼此 。Good friends always spend time with each other.
- 你们 是 夫妻 ，怎么 一点 也 不 信任 彼此 ？You're husband and wife. How can you not trust each other at all?
Basic Usage as an Attributive
As a personal pronoun, 彼此 (bǐcǐ) is often used as an attributive, modifying a noun.
Sometimes you can also use 彼此 (bǐcǐ) before a noun to make the meaning of the modified noun more abstract.
彼此 + 的 + Noun
- 过去 一年 ，我们 见证 了 彼此 的 进步 。 Over the past year, we have witnessed each other's progress.
- 大家 都 很 辛苦 ，我们 需要 尊重 彼此 的 努力 。 Everyone is facing hardships, we need to respect each other's efforts.
- 我们 十年 没 见 了 ，对 彼此 的 生活 都 不 了解 ，也 很 惊讶 彼此 的 变化 。It had been ten years since we last met. We didn't really know about each other's lives and we were surprised at how the other had changed.
- 我们 了解 了 彼此 的 需求 ，再也 不 吵架 了 。We came to understand each other's needs and didn't argue again.
Using 彼此 Idiomatically
When speaking colloquially, you can repeat 彼此 twice: “彼此彼此”. It's a type of idiom that can mean "Everyone is the same" or "We are both the same".
- A:你 的 家 真 不错。What a nice home you have.
- B:彼此 彼此 ！Same, same!