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Is one of these phrases more formal in Mandarin?

I have learned two ways to express that an action will only happen "a little bit." One way is with "一下" and the other is using reduplication "看看". My question is, is one of these constructions more formal, or are they both appropriate to use in a professional setting?

For example, if I wanted to ask a research colleague if I could take a look at his laboratory, which sentence is better (1 or 2)?
1. 我可以看看吗?
2. 我可以看一下吗?

Thanks for any help!

For learning: Chinese (Mandarin)
Base language: English
Category: Other



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    Best Answer - Chosen by the Asker
    Hi I'm from Taiwan and I'm a native Chinese speaker.

    In my opinion toward the question, Either one works.
    Those two are all about 'May I take a look?'
    There's no one more formal than the other cause it Depends on How you Say that sentence :)
    (I mean they're all formal and they mean the same thing. )

    Umm as for 看看 and 看一下
    it just depends on the way you talk
    like sometimes we say "What's up?" yet sometimes we say "sup?"
    However they all refereed to the same thing :)

    Actually I say both of those too. Maybe at this moment I wanna say 我可以看看嗎?
    And the other point I wanna say 我可以看一下嗎?

    I hope my answer could help a little bit ^___^

    Duplication of a verb and the "(Verb)+一下“ pattern have exactly the same meaning and effect.


    They are both appropriate to use in a professional setting. They are also common in casual conversation. No difference.

    However, 看看 can be used when you are very angry with someone who has done something badly, in which case you cannot use 看一下.

    你看看, 你把家里搞成什么样了! you can say it to someone when they have made a mess at home.

    I think both of them are ok.

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