All the Chinese characters “对”, “副” and “双” indicate the same meaning of “two; a pair”, but there are still some differences among them. So how do we know when to use “对 (duì)”, when to use “副” and when to use “双 (shuāng)?”
1. “对” (duì) is used for persons, animals and things with opposite sexes or sides. It can be read as “duìr” sometimes. It emphasizes the relative and complementary relationship between two things. It can be used with things and people.
2. “副” (fù) is used for the complete set of things, maybe two or more.
3. “双” (shuāng) is usually used with objects which naturally come in pairs, like limbs and organs that are symmetric, or things that are used or worn in pairs. Usually the two things referred by “双” are very similar or even the same thing and they exist in pairs. If one part is missing, this whole object would be incomplete, cannot work well, or even become useless.
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