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Different ways to "Separate"


Thanks for this blog, which I find very useful. Thanks to Fiona, Gwilym and Constance for their good work.

I just can’t understand the differences between 分开,分离 and 分手. Can you please explain the differences in their meaning.

Thanks again.


hi nkchew, as no one answers you I 'll give my twopence: for what I know 分手 has the meaning of to split up, to break up (of a couple) whereas 分开 and as well 分离 has the meaning of to separate from somebody in the sense of to part, to leave, AND technically to separate something, to split, to bisect
You might repeat your question as a QW topic. A very useful tool is the CP glossary, where you insert your phrase and get examples of CP sentences.


Hi Nick!

I’ve added your suggestion to our Qing Wen list. There might be a verb compliment lesson we could incorporate that into. Is it in the contexts of relationships that you are finding this hard? Would be great to know the situation where you found it tricky.

I’ll speak to Constance and see what the best course of action is.

In terms of imagery. A quick differentiation I can provide is…

分开 is two things that we stuck together now being separated
分离 is two thing actually moving far away from each other
分手 to break up.

Fi :slightly_smiling:


Hi Fiona

Thanks for your reply. It would be useful to have this question in a qingwen lesson. I’d really appreciate it.


Thanks a lot for your explanation. I appreciate it.