Meaning unchanged although order changed AB=BA


In the Chinese language, there are some words composed of two characters and the order of the two characters can be reversed without changing the meaning of the word.

These kinds of words are composed of two characters with the same or similar meaning. Here are some common examples.


讲演 演讲 lecture, speech, give a lecture

别离 离别 to part or leave (for a long time)

虚空 空虚 hollow; empty; void; vain; blank; vacant

和平 平和 gentle; mild; peaceful

语言 言语 speech

问询 询问 enquire

互相 相互 mutually

样式 式样 model

整齐 齐整 neat; uniform; tidy

并吞 吞并 to annex; to swallow up; to absorb

质朴 朴质 simple and unadorned; natural

喜欢 欢喜 joyful; happy; delighted; gleeful

情感 感情 emotions; feelings; affections

山河 河山 rivers and mountains; land 2.territory

登攀 攀登 climb

彩色 color 色彩 color

觉察 察觉 to detect; to become aware of; to perceive; to discover; to awake to

依偎 偎依 to nestle to; to lean close to

累积 积累 to accumulate

代替 替代 to substitute for; to cover for; to take the place of; to replace; to fill in

妒忌  忌妒 envy; jealousy; to be envious of; to be jealous

缓和 和缓 relax; to ease up

夜半 半夜 midnight

胆大 大胆 bold

久远 远久 remote

容颜 颜容 countenance

奋发 发奋 exert oneself

Pay attention:

Some words have more than one meaning, in this case, not all the meanings but one or some of them stay the same, for example, 喜欢 can mean “like or happy ” but 欢喜 can only mean “happy”.

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