Skip main navigation

How to use 一下 to indicate a short action in Chinese

一下 used after a verb can indicate a short action

New words

报纸 bàozhǐ newspaper

一 张 报 纸 yīzhāng bàozhǐ a newspaper

看 报纸 kàn bàozhǐ read newspaper

送 sòng to send; to deliver

送 报纸 sòng bàozhǐ deliver the newspaper

一下yíxià used after a verb, indicating an act or an attempt

 看一下 kàn yíxià to look a little bit

说一下 shuō yíxià to say a little bit

写一下 xiě yíxià to write a little bit

牛奶 Niúnǎi milk

喝牛奶 hē niúnǎi to drink milk

买牛奶 mǎi niúnǎi to buy milk

送牛奶 sòng niúnǎi to deliver milk

Language points

“subject+verb+一下 (+ object)” indicates a short action. It is similar to this structure (verb*2) in HSK 1. For example:

看 一下Kàn yíxià(≈看看 kànkan)to look a little bit

说 一下shuō yíxià(≈说说 shuōshuo)to say a little bit

写 一下xiě yíxià(≈写写xiěxie)to write a little bit

休息 一下xiūxi yíxià.(≈休息休息 xiūxixiūxi) to rest a little bit.

This article is from the free online

HSK Standard Course Level 2: 2.1

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education