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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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