UCL WIKI

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The characters for up and down are diagrams:

上 shàng 'up'

It may mean 'up', but it's still falling tone.

下 xià 'down'

It means 'down' and it is falling tone.

Words using these characters

In these examples shàng and xià are behaving as verbs:

上班 shàngbān 'go to work'
下班 xiàbān 'finish work'

上楼 shànglóu 'go upstairs'
下楼 xiàlóu 'go downstairs

上飞机 shàng fēijī 'get on a plane'
下飞机 xià fēijī 'get off a plane'

上火车 shàng huǒchē 'get on a train'
下火车 xià huǒchē 'get off a train'

In these examples shàng and xià indicate position:

桌子上 zhuōzi shang 'on the table' (Note that shàng has lost its tone.)

电视的上边 diànshì de shàngbian 'on top of the television set'

椅子的下边 yǐzi de xiàbian 'under the chair'

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