常常(chángcháng) vs 往往(wǎngwǎng)

常常(chángcháng) vs 往往(wǎngwǎng)

 

They are adverbs used to indicate an action or a situation that occurs repeatedly.

1. 往往 emphasizes the regularity of an occurrence, while 常常 only indicates the high frequency.

e.g.

The two of us often eat together at noon.

我们俩中午常常一起吃饭。(Wǒmen liǎ zhōngwǔ chángcháng yīqǐ chīfàn.)

我们俩中午往往一起吃饭。(Wǒmen liǎ zhōngwǔ wǎngwǎng yīqǐ chīfàn.)

 

周五这个孩子常常迟到。(Zhōuwǔ zhège háizi chángcháng chídào.) This child is often late on Friday.

周五这个孩子往往会迟到。(Zhōuwǔ zhège háizi wǎngwǎng huì chídào.) The child tends to be late on Friday.

 

我们常常晚上聊天。(Wǒmen chángcháng wǎnshàng liáotiān.) We often talk at night.

我们往往晚上聊天。(Wǒmen wǎngwǎng wǎnshàng liáotiān.) We tend to talk at night.

Note that when using 往往, the conditions of the regularity must be specified, while it’s optional when using 常常.

e.g.

√ 我们俩常常吃面。(Wǒmen liǎ chángcháng chī miàn.) Both of us often eat noodles.

✘ 我们俩往往吃面。(Wǒmen liǎ wǎngwǎng chī miàn.)

√ 我们俩中午往往一起吃面。(Wǒmen liǎ zhōngwǔ wǎngwǎng yīqǐ chī miàn.) The two of us often eat noodles together at noon.

 

√ 这个孩子常常迟到。(Zhège háizi chángcháng chídào.) This child is often late.

✘ 这个孩子往往迟到。(Zhège háizi wǎngwǎng chídào.)

周五这个孩子往往会迟到。(Zhōuwǔ zhège háizi wǎngwǎng huì chídào.) The child tends to be late on Friday.

 

√ 我们常常聊天。(Wǒmen chángcháng liáotiān.) We often chat.

✘ 我们往往聊天。(Wǒmen wǎngwǎng liáotiān.)

√ 我们往往晚上聊天。(Wǒmen wǎngwǎng wǎnshàng liáotiān.) We tend to talk at night.

2. 常常 can be used to express one’s idea or wish, especially for the future, but 往往 can not be used in this way.

e.g.

✘ 我会往往来看你的。(Wǒ huì wǎngwǎng lái kàn nǐ de.)

√ 我会常常来看你的。(Wǒ huì chángcháng lái kàn nǐ de.) I will come to see you often.

 

✘ 希望我能往往吃你做的饭。(Xīwàng wǒ néng wǎngwǎng chī nǐ zuò de fàn.)

√ 希望我能常常吃你做的饭。(Xīwàng wǒ néng chángcháng chī nǐ zuò de fàn.) I hope I can eat your cooking often.

 

✘ 毕业以后,我就可以往往去中国了。(Bìyè yǐhòu, wǒ jiù kěyǐ wǎngwǎng qù Zhōngguó le.)

√ 毕业以后,我就可以常常去中国了。(Bìyè yǐhòu, wǒ jiù kěyǐ chángcháng qù Zhōngguó le.) After graduation, I can go to China often.

常常 can indicate the subjective willing, while 往往 is not used in this way. So常常 can be used in imperative sentences, while 往往 cannot.

e.g.

✘ 请你往往来我家玩。(Qǐng nǐ wǎngwǎng lái wǒ jiā wán.)

√ 请你常常来我家玩。(Qǐng nǐ chángcháng lái wǒ jiā wán.) Please often come to my house and play.

 

✘ 平时要往往练习写汉字!(Píngshí yào wǎngwǎng liànxí xiě Hànzì!)

√ 平时要常常练习写汉字!(Píngshí yào chángcháng liànxí xiě Hànzì!) Always practice writing Chinese characters!

 

✘ 不要往往熬夜!(Búyào wǎngwǎng áoyè!)

√ 不要常常熬夜!(Búyào chángcháng áoyè!) Don’t often stay up late!

4. The Negative form

常常

-> 不常 / 不常常 (seldom used)

往往

–> X 不往/ X不往往

–> 往往 + 不/没有

e.g.

不常吃早饭。(Wǒ bù cháng chī zǎofàn.) I don’t often eat breakfast.

周末我们不常见面。(Zhōumò wǒmen bù cháng jiànmiàn.) We don’t meet frequently on weekends.

这个老人不常有朋友来看他。(Zhège lǎorén bù cháng yǒu péngyǒu lái kàn tā.) This old man doesn’t often have friends to visit him.

 

往往不吃早饭。(Wǒ wǎngwǎng bù chī zǎofàn.) I often skip breakfast.

周末我们往往不见面。(Zhōumò wǒmen wǎngwǎng bú jiànmiàn.) We often don’t see each other on weekends.

自私的人往往没有朋友。(Zìsī de rén wǎngwǎng méiyǒu péngyǒu.) Selfish people often have no friends.

1. 冬天的时候,这儿 ___ 是零下七八度。(Dōngtiān de shíhòu, zhèr ___ shì língxià qībā dù.)
A.
B.
C.
2. 他 ___ 一感冒就发烧。(Tā ___ yì gǎnmào jiù fshāo.)
A.
B.
C.
3. 我们 ___ 去看电影。(Wǒmen ___ qù kàndiànyǐng.)
A.
B.
C.
4. 希望我们能 ___ 见面聊天。(Xīwàng wǒmen néng ___ jiànmiàn liáotiān.)
A.
B.
C.
5. 黄山 ___ 不下雨。(Huángshān ___ bú xiàyǔ.)
A.
B.
C.

 

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