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  5. 上班 vs. 去工作


上班 vs. 去工作

  1. What is the difference between:
  2. 上班 and 去工作?
  3. 勺子 and 匙子?

  4. Why is the adverb of place in 你要在前面下车 placed after the verb not before it?


March 9, 2018



2 上班is more "going to your physical work place to work" while 去工作is merely "going to work". More over, if you are to tell your spouse you are going to work in the morning, you would most probably use "我去上班啦“

3 This one I am not sure but I highly suspect it is dialectal difference for the same exact thing. Growing up in Guangdong province as a Cantonese speaker, we refer to spoons as 匙羹;then for almost a decade in Beijing I only hear people refer to spoons as 勺子, never have I heard 匙子being used.

4 ”在前面下车“ is the subject of "你要"


勺子 means a spoon in general and it could be big or small. 匙子 mainly means a teaspoon or a maller spoon. 匙羹 mainly means a spoon for soup. Since Chinese does not have verb related conjugation, tenses and plural/single, adverbs or adverbial(phrases) has to be put at the beginning of the sentence or right after the subject to indicate time and so on. If you want to say "I am going to work tomorrow." You must say it "我明天要去上班。" or "明天我要去上班。". When an adverb or adverbial is put at the beginning of a sentence, the speaker is emphasizing 明天, and so on. If it is put after the subject, the speaker is emphasizing the subject 我. You'd better not say "我要去上班明天。" People can understand what you are saying but it is not right way to say so. I am a Chinese native speaker.


下车is the verb


去工作 is the actual act of physically going to go to wherever you work, whereas 上班 is more what time you're actually on duty. So I might 去工作 at 7:30 in the morning, but not get to the office and 上班 until 8:00. So they're very similar with just a slight connotation difference.


In a repirse of what others have said,

  1. I concur that the difference between 上班 and 去工作 is that 上班 is to "start work" or "go on shift" as in “I start work at 9:00am" = "我早上九点上班” while I might say "I leave for work at 8am" = "我早上八点去工作“

  2. I've mostly heard 勺子 everywhere in China that speaks 普通话。 I learned 匙子 when I was studying Chinese in college, but I've never actually heard of anyone using it. I have seen 匙 used in other compound words, though, such as 茶匙 for "teaspoon." So it is still relevant and useful to know.

  3. I think you were probably thinking "要" was the verb, though quick warning: 要 has far more uses in Chinese than just as a verb. It is often used to mark the futurity of a sentence. If you study the history of the Chinese language you will find that the categories of parts of speech are somewhat fluid. They are western impositions mapped on to the Chinese language, and awkwardly at that. In classical Chinese, the major parts of speech were often "topic" "comment" and "aspect," which establishes the relationship between the topic and the comment. Most words could play multiple roles, depending on where they came in the syntax of the sentence.

Today, Chinese syntax is much looser, and due to the shift to bisyllabic words, the part of speech of the word is often clarified by the word it is partnered with. For example, by itself, 爱 could be the noun love, or the verb to love. But when 爱 is used as a noun, it is normally partnered with 情,which is the more bodily counterpart to 爱, as 爱情。

This is also why "下·” which in English would be thought of as an adjective, is also a verb. Chinese grammar makes much more sense when you realize that a single word can be a noun (下面 the underside) a verb (下车 to get off from a vehicle) an adjective (下个月 next month) or an adverb (走下去 to walk down).


上班 and 去工作, as a verb.the two are almost the same . 我去上班了,我去工作了。but when u ask someone's job .we usually say ,你做什么工作,not 你上什么班(which means u work on different shifts .u just ask the person which shift he is on)

勺子,匙子, 匙子 we don't use it anymore. now we use 勺子 , and in some city (especially in south of china), people also use 调羹。 but 匙子 is from the ancient times.

你要在前面下车, we can say , 你下车,你,subject ,下车 verb, predicate。 在前面 ,adverbial。 we usually put adverbial in front of the verb . 我在公交车上睡着了。 i fell asleep in the van .


(Chinese here) 2. well when used as "go to work (from home)", they're quite exchangeable. 上班 is very commonly used either in daily life or written language. 去工作 is just much less commonly used (i guess because it's consisted of three characters and people are lazy). BUT, 去工作 can be used when you're in the company but you're not working, you might be playing with your phone or chatting with others or eating too slow (idk), your boss might say “去工作!”, but your boss won't say “去上班!” in this case (that'd be strange). 3. 哈哈哈哈哈哈lol I'm not sure about this one cuz 匙子 is not that commonly used in mandarin, honestly I never used it when talking my whole life, neither do my family, but I guess it's more commonly seen in regional dialects or something (which ones specifically? i have no idea... sadly i can only speak mandarin). Anyway, just remember, feel free and don't be afraid to use 勺子 when you mean spoons, cuz I'm sure every person who speaks Chinese mandarin understands it. 4. honetsly i've no idea, cuz i never considered it...... u know, we just think it's weird to say this你要下车在前面.......I can't help you with this question BUT I've something interesting.. this might be really confusing to beginners but Chinese people do say 你要下车在前面 (important: we do this only when speaking, never in writing, cuz it's not actually grammatically correct), but we say it like 你要下车(pause),在前面。it's when we just thought of the phrase "在前面"(we just thought of where you should get down the car) after when said "你要下车"(you should get down the car), so we just add it after it and like "grammar? nah don't care now" but people understand when you said it... it's like informal anastrophe or inversion only used extremely casually in oral Chinese. Examples: 吃了吗你(normal version: 你吃了吗? have you eaten/did you eat?)? 什么时候开始啊这个东西(normal version: 这个东西什么时候开始啊?when does this thing start?)

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