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Answer to Frequency Words: “经常(jīngcháng)” vs. “通常(tōngcháng)”

May. 11, 2015

Answer: A

In Chinese, “经常(jīngcháng)” and “通常(tōngcháng)” are both used as adverbials.

“经常(jīngcháng)” means “often or frequently”, which is a time adverbial emphasizing that the action happens many times, and that the time between each occurrence is very short. On the other hand, “通常(tōngcháng)” means “in ordinary times or usually”, suggesting that the action has become habitual or regular. Compared to “经常(jīngcháng)”, “通常(tōngcháng)” expresses higher frequency.

Examples:

Lín Mèng jīngcháng chídào.
林梦          经常           迟到。
Lin Meng is often late for work.

Tā jīngcháng chūqu chīfàn.
他   经常         出去    吃饭。
He often eats out.

Wǒ tōngcháng zǎoshang zuò dìtiě shàngbān.
我    通常           早上          坐   地铁  上班。
I usually go to work by subway in the morning.

Lǐ Míng zhōumò tōngcháng zàijiā xiūxi.
李明       周末       通常          在家 休息。
Li Ming usually stays at home on weekends.

In our test, the meaning of the sentence is that I have been working overtime these days and it has happened many times, but maybe I won’t do it next month. Thus, working overtime is not habitual or regular, so the answer is A.

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Comments

How do you say “how often do you come here?”, please?

My guess would be 你多通常来这里吗 (nǐ duō tōngcháng lái zhèlǐ ma) but, according to the usual (poor) online translators, that doesn’t seem to be right. They give 多久 (duō​jiǔ), but that doesn’t seem to be “how often” either.

Can jingchang be used interchangeably with changchang?

Thank you so much for the lessons I have learnt so much from you.

Best regards

Sunday Evelyn

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