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Lesson 7 – Elementary – Words Differentiation

Today we will talk about the difference of similar words for students who want to learn Chinese online free.

Firstly, let’s look at the difference between 矮and 低. Many overseas students who learn Chinese in China will feel quite confused about when these two words should be used.

The experienced teacher of our one-on-one Chinese learning programs concluded the usage of the two words in details.

矮 (ǎi) is adjective, whose synonym is 低 and antonym is 高。The first meaning is one’s figure is short. Model phrase: 矮个子(ǎi gè zi ) /小矮人(xiǎo ǎi rén)
The second meaning is the height is short or the position is low. Model phrase: 矮墙 (ǎi qiáng )/他不是正式职工,总觉得比其他工人矮半截。(tā bú shì zhèng shì zhí gōng , zǒng jué dé bǐ qí tā gōng rén ǎi bàn jié)

The above is about the usage of 矮 and let’s look at the detailed usage of 低 concluded by the Chinese teaching volunteer programs in China.

低 (dī): when it is used as an adjective, its synonym is 矮 and antonym is 高。 The meaning is the height is short or the level is low. For instance, 声音很低 (shēng yīn hěn dī) or 工资低 (gōng zī dī); when it is used as verb, it means one lowers his head. For example, 低头 (dī tóu)/他的头一直低着。(tā de tóu yì zhí dī zhe)

The HSK Preparation Program in China has listed the important points in HSK exam as following: both of the two words can be used as adjectives to represent the short height or low position. “矮”is usually used in oralChinese language and when you want to describe the figure of somebody is short, you can only use “矮”. “低”can also be used as verb, which means someone lowers his head.

If you study Chinese, can you judge that which sentence in the following is right? 
他个子很低。(false) 他个子很矮。(true)

Secondly, in daily communication, many students who learn Mandarin can’t tell the difference between 爱好and 喜欢。

Here our Chinese learning programs will give you the conclusion on the difference of the two words.
爱好 (ài hào) In this word, 好is a polyphone: it can be read as hào or hǎo. When this word is used as verb, its synonym is 喜欢,喜好and the antonym is 厌恶. The meaning is “like” and “having strong interest in something”. For example, 爱好游泳(ài hào yóu yǒng); when it is used as noun, it means strong interest. For instance, 一种爱好(yì zhǒng ài hào )/业余爱好(yè yú ài hào).

Comparatively, students who study in China should know that 喜欢(xǐ huan). This word is usually used as verb, whose synonym is 爱好or 喜好and the antonym is 讨厌or 厌恶. The meaning is “be fond of”: 喜欢唱歌(xǐ huan chàng gē)/ 喜欢文学(xǐ huan wén xué)

For people who learn Chinese, the difference of the two words is one of the important parts in HSK exam. You should pay attention to this. 喜欢refers to someone is fond of or interested in somebody or something; 爱好means someone has strong interest in something and the degree is deeper than the former. The objective of 喜欢can be a person or thing, but the objective of 爱好can only be something.
Please judge these two sentences.

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