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mù biāo
n. target, objective; object, goal, aim
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目的 vs 目标

1. 目标 can mean "target, objective"; 目的 does not have this meaning. For example, we cannot use 目的 in the following examples:
暴露目标 to expose one's position, to give away one's position, to make oneself a target
军事目标 military objective, military target
子弹偏移了目标。 The bullet deviated from the target.
敌对目标 hostile target
目标观众 target audience

2. 目的 refers to "goal, aim", as well as "purpose", which is the reason or motive behind an action. Note that when we use 母的, the motive is neutral. It can be bad or good.
Examples:
- 出于和平的目的 for peaceful purpose
- 不达目的,誓不罢休。 We'll never give up before achieving the goal. We'll never give up before achieving the goal.
- 怀着不可告人的目的 to harbour ulterior motives
- 学习汉语的目的何在? What's the purpose of learning Chinese?

On the hand, 目标 is usually something good and positive, plus, when we use 目标 it refers to something bigger than just a specific action. It's something grander and applicable in the big picture.
Examples:
- 我和我妻子有共同的理想和生活目标。 I and my wife share the same ideals and life goals.
- 一个常见的问题是部分大学生不清楚自己的人生目标。 One common problem with college students is that some of them aren't clear about their life goals.
lisaC
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Is this sometimes used for "boyfriend" or "girlfriend"?
AnnaBW
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