Skip main navigation

Hurry, only 2 days left to get one year of Unlimited learning for £249.99 £174.99. New subscribers only. T&Cs apply

Find out more

How to use 往往

Today we will discuss how to use 往往 and the differences in comparison with 经常.

Language points

The adverb 往往 indicates that a certain situation frequently happens under specific circumstances, which often occurred in the past, usually used to talk about something somewhat regular. We also learnt 经常, they both can indicate a situation occurring repeatedly. For example:


but 往往is a summary of the situation up to the present, demonstrating certain regularities without being subjective, so it usually used to talk about things that have already happened. while 经常 only indicates that an action occurs many time, not necessarily showing any regularities; it can be used to express subjective wishes, and there fore can indicate things that have not yet happened but may occur repeatedly.

For example:



When a sentence uses 往往, it usually specifies the situation, condition or result to the action being talked about, while sentences with “经常”has no such restriction. For example:



经常 is usually equivalent to 常,while 往往 cannot be shortened to 往。For example:




不能只说“往” in this sentence.







This article is from the free online

HSK Standard Course Level 4: 4.2

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now