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Words which are really confusing

Hi @YuQinCai, @Constance_Fang @Fiona and the ChinesePod team, my question is this:

I recently came across these two words below.

But I can’t really understand what is the difference between the two. They are both pronounced in the same way so it can be very confusing for those who just start to learn Chinese. Please help me out.

Thanks (as always)! :slight_smile:

Hi Jeremy,

権 is an old variant of 权, so we rarely use it now. Therefore 权力 = 権力, and 权利 = 権利. As for the difference between 权力 and 权利, 权力 is authority while 权利 is right (a moral or legal entitlement to have or do something). For example,

  • 权力和金钱哪个重要
    [Quánlì hé jīnqián nǎge zhòngyào]
    Power and money, which one is more important?

  • 人的基本权利有哪些?
    [Rén de jīběn quánlì yǒu nǎxiē?]
    What are basic human rights?


Hi Betty,
Thanks for your answer, but I still confused with something,
First, 権 is an old variant of 权, what does " old variant" mean? is traditional Chinese? or is kind of another version?
Second, I am still a little confused with 权力 and 权利, as you said 权力 means power, and 权利 means right, so can I say " 你没有权力管我,我有权力这样做“?
Third, the vocabulary " 权益” is the same meaning with them?

many thanks.

Hi Grace,

  1. 権 is what ancient people use, so no one uses this character now.

  2. If it’s said by a normal person, then the word should be 权利 (right). On the other hand, if it’s said by the government, then 权力 (authority) is correct.

  3. 权益 is similar to 权利. It means ‘rights and benefits’.


Hi Betty,
so happy to hear from you,so my sentence " 你没有权力管我,我有权力这样做“?( said by normal person) is wrong, the correct one should change 权力 to 权利, right?

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Hi Grace,

That’s right!

@BettyZheng, @gracechen7874
Thank you for the prompt response! Really appreciate that!

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