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tàng
char./m. sth that is proceeding; measure word for a round trip, a set of wushu movements, bus or train service, or things in a row
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In Chinese, there are two categories of measure words: those indicating units of persons or things, and those indicating the frequency of an action.
As a measure word, 趟 belongs to both groups. When it is a verbal measure word (the 2nd category), 趟 can be translated as "once", but to differentiate it from other verbal measure words such as 次 and 遍, we may say 趟 specifically refers to a round trip of going somewhere and then coming back.
Examples:
- 我去了趟体育场。 [phr] I went to the stadium.
- 我上个月去了一趟北京。 [phr] I went to Beijing last month.

If you would like to learn more about other similar verbal measure words, please check out these entries in our dictionary: 次(ci4),下/下儿 (xia4/xiar4) and 遍 (bian4).
lisaC
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Can you give an example of how 趟 would be *inappropriately* used?
AnnaBW
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Hi AnnaBW, for example:
- 你喝过奶茶吗?Have you tried milk-tea?
- 喝过,但是只喝过一次。Yes, I have, but only once.
In this case, we cannot replace 次 with 趟, because 趟 usually refers to a round trip of going somewhere and then coming back.
lisaC
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Verbal measure words are measure words that indicate the frequency of an action.
1. 次 is the most often used measure word that generally indicates the frequency of an action; 次, as a verbal measure word, can also appear before a noun/nominal phrase which has to be something that can repeatedly happen.
Examples:
这种药每日吃一次。[phr] You should take the medicine once a day.
这次考试很简单。 r/s [phr] The exam was very simple.

2. 下儿 has two different indications. The first one is the number of times that the action happens; the second one indicates an action lasting for a very short time or an action done in a casual way.
Examples:
我用棍子杵了他一下儿。 -/- [phr] I give him a prod with a stick.
我去一下儿。 -/- [phr] I will go there for a moment; I will be away for a moment.

3. 遍 indicates the complete duration of an action from beginning to end. The object of the action usually involves a certain length, usually involving text or language, e.g. article, film, music, words said, etc.
Example:
请重复一遍您的地址。 r/s [phr] Please repeat your address.

4. 趟 indicates an action that involves going back and forth. 趟 can also be used on trains or buses.
Examples:
我去了趟体育场。 r/s [phr] I went to the stadium.
这趟车几点发车? r/s [phr] What time does the train leave?
lisaC
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