睡 vs. 睡觉 what's the difference

Can anyone explain why/when to use the 觉 in 睡觉? or 睡不着 / 睡不着觉.This has always been confusing to me, never been able to get it clear.

Sorry, if I tell you things you know already, this is what I have understood up to now:

I don’t want to sleep now。
我现在不想睡觉。
I can’t fall asleep。
我睡不着。because I drank too much coffee in the afternoon…

When could I use 睡 alone? I don’t know.

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睡觉: go to sleep
睡着: fall asleep
睡不着:cannot sleep

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I get those. But I think you can also not use 觉 here:睡 go to sleep. 困了,我要睡。(I’m sleepy, I’m going to sleep now) Which is what I don’t quite get.

Maybe that’s it with 睡觉 - it’s “go to bed”, but I’ve always thought of it as “sleep”

So here I think 我现在不想睡。 is also ok. Maybe? I don’t get the point of jiao4 when Shui4 is the verb sleep.

and does jiao3 really make it mean “go to sleep”? Because you can also say 去睡觉

yeah

you can also say 睡不着觉 - so again, whats the point of the 觉?

Yes, of course. Because both meanings are right. I don’t want to sleep now, the state of sleeping and lying in bed, and I don’t want to go to bed and fall asleep.

My guess is that 睡 alone is possible if the meaning is clear anyway, and I would guess it is the short form for 睡觉 .
The thing is Chinese characters and sounds have multiple possibilities, therefore the language likes to double characters, use two characters to make the meaning clearer. We should not translate really verb plus noun always then. Knowing what is a verb or noun is only interesting and necessary for how to use them grammatically.

Sorry, I am so impatient, I should wait for an expert to answer. :wink: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

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There’s more going on too, because the state of sleeping is 睡着了 I think

I agree with you on this. And thank goodness for it, otherwise listening would be impossible.

I have never encountered 睡不着觉 before, not sure if its correct or not lol.
But sleep itself should be 睡眠。
And I also haven’t encountered 去睡觉,often ppl will just say 睡觉。

I drank too much coffee in the afternoon that I cannot sleep: 我今天下午喝了太多咖啡,甚至现在一点儿也睡不着.

Better make sure to a native speaker. This is only for reference :slight_smile:

@phillip-Mandarin-HSK_4 , “state of sleeping”, are you thinking of 着 as zhe?

I have always thought that the 着 in睡着 is a different character as it is pronounced differently, not the 着 that is pronounced zhe and used like the -ing form of verbs in English.

Have a look here, I found this right now on Grammar Wiki:

Nah, that I’ve know for a while. Quite a few verbs take zhao2 着 like 够不着。

My confusion is the 觉 in 睡觉, what’s it for? Is it like the 路 in 走路? But that changes “go” to “walk”. How does 觉 effect 睡 is my question I guess.

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着 can actually be pronounced as zhe, zhao1,zhao2, and zhuo2.
each of them has different usage. and 着 does not always represent -ing.

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I’ve heard that in mandarin, to compensate its simpler grammar (compared to english imo), they used different verbs for different situations instead of tenses like in english. as an example, get used to something is 对。。。习惯了, but to get used to something is 适应。
I’ve also heard there are classical and modern mandarin (cmiiw) which one uses only 1 of the 2 words that means the same and the other use both. for example to use something is 用, but can also say 使用。
for 走 and 走路 imo that 路 is to show that you walk instead of just go, because in some situations in Mandarin they ask for details to match up the “logic”.

and my guess with 睡觉 is that 觉 is actually a result complement.
like we say 洗干净 (but in english we dont say clean something cleanly).

睡着 / 睡不着 is the compliment

and 睡不着觉

Philip and Audi, sorry, of course I am still a Greenhorn, but a proud and happy learner. :sunglasses: :rofl: :rofl:

I asked my teacher and she said that 睡觉 is actually a separable verb.
Both means sleep with "睡“ as a verb and "觉” as a noun.
So you can actually say "我睡不着” and can also say "我睡不着觉“。

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I’m happy to discuss as I still have many to learn, and also having someone learn together and discuss opens up the knowledge for me too hahaha. I’m not perfect myself but I love to exchange opinions~!

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Yes, just to check that I wasn’t imagining 睡不着觉 I searched for a video using it(see 0:11):

Yes I suppose its the same as 游泳

游两次泳

睡一次觉

sleep a sleep

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Yes. Now my problem is that I don’t know how to identify separable verb other than memorising them :"

Yeah, I find separable verbs a bit of a challenge.

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This is the way I understand these:

睡着 is composed of two parts: 睡=sleep and 着 to be in the state of performing an action, but dictionary also gives the zháo pronunciation the meaning of “to be touched by something” or “be in contact with something”. The first part explains the action 睡 (sleep) and second the result 着 (be in the state of performing the action or be in contact with (sleep)). Therefore 睡着 = to fall asleep successfully. Add a 不 (not) or 得 (to achieve something) you get 睡不着 (can not successfully fall asleep) or 睡得着 (can successfully reach the state of being asleep as opposed to waking up in the middle of the process). Or add some more explanation to the action “睡了两个小时的着” = slept for two hours (fell into sleep and continued in that state for two hours). It’s the same kind of action-result pair as 看见 (to look with the result of seeing (or perhaps “perceive” would better describe 见 here since in that case 听见 would be “to listen with the result of perceiving”)).

睡觉 is an interesting one. 觉 means to realize something or wake up to something (but by abbreviations of 睡觉 it seems to have the meaning of sleep as-well), so I guess you can think of this as two characters put together that both have about same meaning, but thinking of it as describing the whole process of sleeping (to sleep and wake up as in going under and then waking up again) would seem to be closer to the original meaning of the two characters.

I checked the original meanings of 着 and 觉 from pleco outlier dictionary. Interpretations of the words are mine.

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It’s a separable verb and I should have known that. But I still find them awkward, I guess because so different from English. From All Set Learning:

Separable verbs are “verb-object phrases.” They consist of two characters: the first is the verb, and the second is the object. Very often, these two will appear together, seemingly acting as a single verb, as in 吃饭, “to eat,” 见面, “to meet,” or 睡觉, “to sleep.” But the two can also separate, and the verb can also be used without the object.

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