How to use 放假 (fàngjià) and 假期 (jiàqī) correctly in Mandarin Chinese

People learning Chinese can sometimes get the words 放假 (fàngjià) and 假期 (jiàqī) mixed up and use them incorrectly. Here’s a quick explanation of how to use these words.

The difference is actually fairly simple, you just need to remember it: 放假 is a verb and 假期 is a noun.

放假: to be on holiday, to have a vacation (verb)

放假 is a verb meaning “to be on holiday” or “to have a holiday”. More specifically, it simply means a period of time off work, without necessarily meaning that you go travelling somewhere.

It’s fairly easy to remember that 放假 is a verb if you look at the first character: 放 is a verb itself. Together, the word is literally something like “to be set free on holiday”.

The most important thing to remember here is that 放假 is always a verb and cannot be used as a noun.

Let’s have a look at some example sentences for 放假:


Wǒmen xià gè xīngqī fàngjià.

We go on holiday next week.


Xuéxiào jīnnián zǎodiǎn fàngjià.

School finishes earlier this year.

Note how 放假 is a verb and has been translated as various different verbs in the sentences above.

假期: a holiday, a vacation (noun)

Unlike 放假 above, 假期 is a noun. Again, you can remember this by looking at the hanzi that make up the word: 期 is usually a noun. Literally the word is “holiday period”.

As with 放假, remember that 假期 is specifically about being off work or not having classes etc.. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you go travelling or do something in particular, just that you are at leisure.

Let’s have a look at some example sentences:


Zhège jiàqī tā chūqù lǚxíng.

She went travelling during the holiday.


Wǒmen qídàizhe yīgè kuàilè de jiàqī.

We're looking forward to a happy vacation.


Jiàqī nǐ wán de kāixīn ma?

Did you have a good time during the holiday?

Got any questions or suggestions? Please share them in the comments!

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