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Answer to the Exercise on the Difference between “次(cì)” and “遍(biàn)”

Jun. 5, 2015

In Chinese, a classifier is special and some classifiers are easily confused in meaning and usage, like “次()” and “遍(biàn).”

“次()” and “遍(biàn)” both can be used to describe frequency or how many times you have done something. However, “次()” emphasizes the frequency of a repeated action rather than the completion of an action or the time spent in performing an action.

Examples

Wǒ qùguò liǎngcì BěiJīng.
我   去过    两次    北京。

I have been to Beijing twice.

Wǒ zuòguò sāncì  fēijī.
我   坐过     三次   飞机。

I have taken an airplane three times.

“遍(biàn)” emphasizes the amount of time spent doing something and also the completion of an action. So when we focus on the time it takes to do an action and complete an action, we use “遍(biàn).”

Examples

Nà bù diànyǐng wǒ kàn le liǎngbiàn.
那  部  电影       我 看   了 两遍。

I watched the film twice.

Wǒ měitiān dú sānbiàn dāncí.
我   每天     读  三遍      单词。

I read vocabulary three times a day.

In our test above, the doctor wants to stress the frequency of taking the medicine each day rather than stress the completion of taking the medicine or the time spent taking the medicine, so we should use “次()” in the two blanks.

<<Back to “Learn the Difference between ‘次(cì)’ and ‘遍(biàn)’”

You may be also confused about the other group of Chinese phrases:

Beyond counting: the curious number 2 (Elementary)

General Chinese (Beginner Level) 

General Chinese (Intermediate Level) 

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Comments

Fine . I would pay attention to more examples. “Ci” would be here stand for time and times both , and I think same is with “bian”.

Hi Devbrat, Hope the post can help you improve our Chinese. Let me know if you have any questions in learning Chinese.

Also,

- 第三次段考: 3rd phase of the test,
- 讀書百遍: read book 100 times.

I think 三次 means 3rd time, while 三遍 means 3 times.

Hi Bùi Công Chức,
In some cases, there isn’t any difference between using “次” and “遍”. But in some cases, the two words are not interchangeable. So it’s better to master the usage of the two words. If you need any help, please feel free to leave a comment here.

This lesson extremely important and I am now understand well Ci and Bian

I find it really difficult to use these words, I wonder is it a big mistake if I use these incorrectly, I mean When I use 次 instead of 遍 or vice versa.

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