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Expressing simultaneous actions with "yimian"

一面 (yìmiàn) is a more formal than 一边, but is used in the same way to express two simultaneous actions. It is used in the following way:

Structure

一面 + Verb + 一面 + Verb

Examples

  • 他 喜欢 一面 吃 东西 , 一面 看 电影 。He likes to eat and watch movies at the same time.
  • 我 告诉 你 多少 次 了,别 一面 躺 在 床上 一面 吃 零食!弄得 床上 都 是 碎屑!I told you so many times, don't eat while laying on the bed. The "clean" bed now has crumbs all over it!
  • 他们 一 家人 一面 赏月 一面 吃 月饼。They enjoy the moon and eat mooncakes together as a family.
  • 你 会 一面 拍头 一面 揉 肚子 吗?Can you pat your head and rub your belly at the same time?

一面 cannot be shortened in the way while 一边 can:

  • 工作 学习。
  • 工作 学习。I work and study at the same time.

一面 can also be used to express two aspects of a situation, which are not necessarily being enacted simultaneously. This is the same as the structure: "一方面...一方面..." or the English "on the one hand...one the other hand"

  • 政府 一面 要 控制 通货膨胀, 一面 也 要 保证 一定 的 经济 增长 速度。On one hand, the government is going to control inflation, but on the other hand, it's definitely going to protect economic growth.

See also

Sources and further reading

Books