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How to use “常常” and “往往” in Chinese

Chinese words, learning Chinese, Chinese grammar

The words 常常 and 往往 can both be translated as 'often', but their usage isn't quite the same.

"常常"和"往往"这两个词都可以翻译为"often",不过它们的用法不大一样。

 

Here's a quick guide to the situations in which 常常 and 往往 should be used.

以下速成指南教你何时应该使用"常常"或"往往":

 

常常 (cháng cháng)

 

常常 is a general-purpose word for 'often' or 'frequently'. Pretty much any situation that can be described with 'often' in English can be described with 常常 in Mandarin.

"常常"是表示"often"或"频繁"的通用词语。差不多任何类似英语里的"often"的情境都可以用中文里的"常常"描述。

 

常常 can be used for past, present, future or conditional events. It can also be used for hypothetical events.

"常常"可用于过去、现在、将来或条件性事件,它也可以用于假设性事件。

 

Note that the negative of 常常 is usually just 不常.

注意,"常常"的反义词一般就是"不常"。

 

Examples:

 

我常常看书。

wǒ chángcháng kàn shū.

I often read books.

 

我弟弟小的时候,我常常带他去公园。

wǒ dìdi xiǎo de shíhòu, wǒ chángcháng dài tā qù gōngyuán.

When my brother was young, I often used to take him to the park.

 

要是我有钱的话,我会常常出去玩儿。

yàoshi wǒ yǒu qián dehuà, wǒ huì chángcháng chūqù wánr.

If I had the money, I would often go out and have fun.

 

我一有小狗,就会开始常常散步。

wǒ yī yǒu xiǎogǒu, jiù huì kāishǐ chángcháng sànbù.

As soon as I have a dog, I'll start going for walks frequently.

 

她是个很实在的人,她常常会把朋友的汽车修好。

tā shì ge hěn shí zài de rén, tā chángcháng huì bǎ péngyou de qìchē xiū hǎo.

As she's a very practical person, she often fixes her friends' cars.

 

However, this last sentence could use 往往.

不过,最后一句可以使用"往往"。

 

往往 (wǎng wǎng)

 

往往 is also used to indicate frequency, but must appear with a reason or condition that causes the event to occur frequently. It can't just appear in a simple statement that something often happens. 往往 can be used for present events, but is most commonly used for past events. It cannot be used for future, conditional or hypothetical events.

"往往"也用于表示"频繁",但必须有出现引起事件频繁发生的原因或条件,它不能出现在描述某事经常发生的简单陈述句里。"往往"可用于现在时事件,不过大部分情况下用于过去的事件。它不能用于将来时、条件性或假设性事件。

 

Examples:

 

他不太能喝酒,但是朋友都喜欢喝,所以他往往喝醉了。

tā bù tài néng hē jiǔ, dànshì péngyou dōu xǐhuān hē, suǒyǐ tā wǎngwǎng hēzuì le.

He's not a big drinker, but his friends all like to drink, so he often gets drunk.

 

因为体育场离我家不远,我往往去看足球赛。

yīnwèi tǐyùchǎng lí wǒ jiā bù yuǎn, wǒ wǎngwǎng qù kàn zúqiúsài.

As the stadium isn't far from my house, I often go and watch football matches.

 

小李失眠往往是因为他的邻居老是大声吵架。

xiǎo lǐ shīmián wǎngwǎng shì yīnwèi tā de línjū lǎoshi dà shēng chǎojià.

Xiaoli often loses sleep because his neighbours are always arguing loudly.

 

Note that a sentence with 往往 doesn't necessarily need 因为 or 所以. It just needs to include a reason for the frequency of the event.

注意,带"往往"的句子不一定总要有"因为"或"所以",这类句子只需包含频繁事件的起因

 

这家饭馆下午的时候往往没有很多顾客。

zhè jiā fànguǎn xiàwǔ de shíhòu wǎngwǎng méiyǒu hěn duō gùkè.

In the afternoon, this restaurant doesn't often have a lot of customers.

 

Translated from: eastasiastudent

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2016-06-22

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