Using "lai" and "qu" when "verbing around"
This structure can be used if want to say you are "verbing without a clear direction." It's sort of like "verbing this way and that." The same verb is repeated before the 来 (lái) and 去 (qù). So for example, 走来走去 is a bit like "walking here and there" or "walking this way and that."
Verb + 来 + Verb + 去
The same verb should repeat in this pattern. Single-syllable verbs are most common.
In a sentence, this structure looks like this:
- 学生们 都 很 紧张，在 考场 外面 走 来 走 去。The students are all nervous, they are all pacing back and forth outside of the exam room.
- 他 说 来 说 去 还 不 承认 自己 错 了。He's been yakking a lot, but he still hasn't admitted that he's wrong.
- 我 想 来 想 去 都 想 不 明白，他 怎么 能 那样 对 我？I've thought and thought about it, but I can't understand, how could you treat me like that?
- 他 翻 来 翻 去， 终于 找到 了 那 双 破 袜子。He searched everywhere and finally found the pair of worn-out socks.
- 这 份 工作 不仅 是 脑力 活 ， 还 需要 跑 来 跑 去 的 ！ This job isn't only mentally taxing; you also have to run around a lot!
- 我 跟 孩子 们 上课 的 风格 是 非常 活泼 的 ， 常常 会 做 一些 手工 ， 有时候 还 会 跳 来 跳 去 。 My classroom style with the kids is quite active. We often do arts and crafts, and sometimes also jump all around.