Hank had spent the morning preparing for their evening dinner party. And while the dining room had definitely improved from his attention, the living room was perhaps slightly the worse for it. For while the odds of one of their guests fatally tripping over the missing floorboard was quite small, it was admittedly greater than zero. Which was why Hank decided it was time for a trip to the hardware store. If he was lucky he could get everything fixed before anyone noticed the four foot gap.

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 said on
September 27, 2011
He has no kids of his own you see...but what is he BUILDING in there???? I probably use try to fit that song title into conversation once a week. Great phrases too.
 said on
November 7, 2011
What is the distinction between "kan4" and "kan4kan"? If I wanted to say "Don't look!", would I say "bie2 kan4"?
 said on
November 7, 2011
@blueblade3000,

Verb phrases like 看看 are colloquial abbreviations of the reduplicated form 看一看. If you use this you're implying the action won't take very long while softening the intonation to make it sound like it isn't a big deal. This is useful when asking other people to take a quick look, or implying that you'll find the time to do something at some point ("I'll take a look tomorrow....").

But it means people won't say 别看看 since that is emotionally weird and somewhat contradictory. It would mean strongly telling someone not to do something yet softening the tone. And even then it wouldn't be clear if you're really asking them not to do something, or telling them not to do it lightly or half-heartedly.

If you search on Google (or Baidu), most matches are for phrases like 别看看了后悔, which should be parsed 别看 (don't look) 看了后悔 (because IF you look you'll regret it).

 said on
November 7, 2011
@trevelyan

Wonderfully explained! Thanks much!

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