Help! Confused by 易...易 usage
I've noticed the 易...易 structure a few times over the past week, for example in the warning signs on the insides of elevators: "严禁携带易燃易爆物品乘电梯.”
I understand that it means “strictly forbidden to carry flammables and explosives on the elevator.” But does the structure of易...易 just mean “either… or,” or is it used to make lists, or is there some other usage I’m missing?
Thank you in advance!
oranginaJune 19, 2011, 03:15 PM
I wouldn't interpret that as a grammar pattern... unless you have some other examples. If you look at 易燃 and 易爆 separatly it seems to me the 易 means "---able" and "---ive". That is, it changes to burn into easily burnable (flammable) and explode into easily explodable (explosive.)
I may be wrong, that is just my take.
orangina is correct. 易...易 is not a grammar structure. Rather the word "易" mean "easily". 易燃, 易爆 are 2 separate words which often appear together. They are also one of the most common words using 易. Other words include 易懂，易接受，易学，易操作, etc。
pradamJune 19, 2011, 05:22 PM
I think that orangina's comment is correct, especially because 易 serves the same function in 容易. Namely, reinforcing the "---able" meaning of "容“ which by itself is a general verb "look, hold, contain". My dictionary also defines 易 as "change" (as it means in 易经) or easy/simple. The conflated ideas of 易爆 seem to make sense in that context.