When something keeps happening and won't stop happening, we say that it is "continuous" or "incessant". In Chinese, the words are "不断" (bùduàn) and "不停" (bùtíng). Instead of usually being adjectives, these two words are usually adverbs. However, they are used in different ways, so this article will help you distinguish when and where to use them.
"不断" is usually placed before the verb it modifies, and it often requires "地" to indicate that it is an adverb.
Subject + 不断 + 地 + Verb
kè hù bú duàn de gǎi biàn zhǔ yì, zěn me bàn?
The client won't stop changing his ideas. What should I do?
guò qù de liǎng nián lǐ, wǒ men bú duàn de zài nǔ lì, yě bú duàn de zài jìn bù.
For two years, we continuously pushed ourselves and continuously improved.
tā men zhī jiān de máo dùn yī zhí bú duàn, guān xì bú duàn è huà.
The argument between them is ongoing. The relationship is consistently worsening.
"不停" is a little more versatile and can be placed both before the verb as an adverb, or after the verb as something that is somewhat like a complement. Either way, it means the same thing.
Subject + 不停 + 地 + Verb
wǒ jīn tiān hěn kùn, bú tíng de dǎ hā qiàn.
I'm so tired today. I can't stop yawning.
gǎn mào le, hóu lóng tòng, hái bú tíng de liú bí shuǐ.
I got a cold. My throat hurts and my nose keeps running.
chī fàn de shí hòu tā yī jù huà yě bú shuō, bú tíng de chī.
When he's eating, he doesn't say anything. He doesn't stop eating.
When "不停" comes after the verb, it behaves somewhat strangely and takes "个" before it in order to become grammatical, like so:
Subject + Verb + 个 + 不停
hái zǐ kū gè bú tíng, shì bú shì fā shāo le?
The child is crying constantly. Does he have a fever?
jīn tiān diàn huà xiǎng gè bú tíng, fán sǐ le.
The phone is ringing incessantly today, it's so annoying.
Translated from: AllSetLearning
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