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Answer to Measure Word Mix-Up: “对(duì)” and “双(shuāng)”

May. 12, 2015

Answer: B

“对(duì)” and “双(shuāng)” are two Chinese measure words. They can both be translated as “a pair of” in English, and there are only a few differences between them.

In the Chinese language, “双(shuāng)” is used to describe things that often come in pairs and consist of a left one and right one. Many of these things are related to the body or organs, such as “一双鞋(yìshuāngxié) a pair of shoes,” which would be connected to the feet; “一双筷子(yìshuāng kuàizi) a pair of chopsticks,” which are held in the hand; “一双手(yìshuāngshǒu) two hands”; and “一双眼睛(yìshuāng yǎnjing) two eyes.”

Meanwhile, “对(duì)” is used to measure two things which work in combination with each other based on their genders, like “一对夫妻(yíduì fūqī) a couple” and “一对情侣(yíduì qínglǚ) two sweethearts”; on the left and right sides, such as “一对耳环(yíduì ěrhuán) two earrings” and “一对手链(yíduì shǒuliàn) two bracelets”; and on opposite sides within an issue, such as “一对矛盾(yíduì máodùn) two sides within the contradiction” and “一对平衡力(yíduì pínghénglì) two opposite forces within the balance force.”

Now let’s take these explanations of “双(shuāng)” and “对(duì)” to look back at the earlier test. “Sneakers” should follow “双(shuāng)” and “earrings” follows “对(duì),” so the correct answer is B.

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