HSK 5 Words: 保存 (bǎo cún) VS 保持 (bǎo chí)

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

In Chinese language learning, the two words 保存 (bǎo cún) and 保持 (bǎo chí) can often create confusion for learners. While both words are related to the concept of maintaining something, they have distinct meanings and usage contexts.To truly grasp the depth and breadth of their meanings, it is essential to delve into the subtleties of their definitions and applications.

保存 (bǎo cún) primarily refers to the act of keeping something in its original state or condition, often for future use or reference. It emphasizes the preservation of something's integrity and value over time.


  1. This photograph is precious, and I will preserve it carefully.
    zhè zhāng zhào piān hěn zhēn guì, wǒ huì hǎo hǎo bǎo cún de。
  2. The museum has preserved many historical artifacts.
    bó wù guǎn bǎo cún le hěn duō lì shǐ wén wù。
  3. The ancient scroll has been preserved in excellent condition.
    zhè juǎn gǔ huà bǎo cún de xiāng dāng wán hǎo。

保持 (bǎo chí), on the other hand, focuses on maintaining a certain state, condition, or behavior over a period of time. It often involves a conscious effort to uphold something, whether it's a physical state, an emotional state, or a standard of behavior.


  1. She tries to maintain a healthy lifestyle by exercising regularly.
    tā tōng guò dìng qī duàn liàn lái bǎo chí jiàn kāng de shēng huó fāng shì。
  2. It's important to keep a positive attitude, even in difficult times.
    bǎo chí jī jí de tài dù hěn zhòng yào, jí shǐ zài kùn nán shí qī yě shì rú cǐ。
  3. The company has been able to maintain its market position despite the competition.
    jǐn guǎn jìng zhēng jī liè, gāi gōng sī réng rán néng gòu bǎo chí qí shì chǎng dì wèi。

In summary, 保存 (bǎo cún) and 保持 (bǎo chí) are two distinct words in Chinese. 保存(bǎo cún) emphasizes the preservation of something's original state or condition, while 保持  (bǎo chí) focuses on maintaining a certain state or behavior over time. Understanding the specific meanings of these words and their appropriate usage can greatly enhance your Chinese language proficiency and communication skills.

Quiz: Please determine whether to use 保存 (bǎo cún) or 保持 (bǎo chí) in the following sentences.

  1. 我会______这份珍贵的文件,以备将来参考。
    wǒ huì ______ zhè fèn zhēn guì de wén jiàn, yǐ bèi jiāng lái cān kǎo。
  2. 为了健康,他每天都______良好的饮食习惯。
    wèi le jiàn kāng, tā měi tiān dōu ______ liáng hǎo de yǐn shí xí guàn。
  3. 尽管经历了许多风雨,他们仍然______着那份纯真的友谊。
    jǐn guǎn jīng lì le xǔ duō fēng yǔ, tā men réng rán ______ zhe nà fèn chún zhēn de yǒu yì。


  1. 保存 (bǎo cún)
  2. 保持 (bǎo chí)
  3. 保持 (bǎo chí)

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