Verb reduplication with "yi"

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Reduplication of certain verbs and adding an 一 (yī) can change the degree of something to "a little bit".


One way to reduplicate verbs is to insert 一 (yī), in the following structure:

Verb + 一 + Verb

As with simple verb reduplication, this creates a sense that the verb is done briefly or "a little bit".


  • 给 我 看 一 看Let me look a little.
  • 听 一 听(You) Listen a bit.
  • 试 一 试(You) Go and try it a bit.
  • 请 老师 给 我们 说 一 说Teacher, please explain it to us a little.
  • 我 跟 你 练 一 练 中文 吧。Practice Chinese a little bit with me.
  • 我们 出去走 一 走 吧。Let's go out side to walk for a bit.
  • 别 生气 了,笑 一 笑 嘛!Don't get mad, laugh a little bit!
  • 周末 的 时候 我们 想 去 杭州 玩 一 玩When it's the weekend, we should think about going to Hangzhou for some fun.
  • 问 一 问 他们 厕所 在 哪里。(You), ask them a bit where the bathroom is.
  • 我 可以 用 一 用 你 的 电脑 吗?Can I use your computer for a little bit?

Note: The structure in the above sentences can also omit the "一" and maintain their meaning, for example, 看看, 听听, 试试, 说说, 练练, 走走, 笑笑, 玩玩, 问问, and 用用.

See also

Sources and Further Reading