Grammar Info
N4 Lesson 1: 5/18

どんどん
Progressively, Rapidly increasing, More and more

どんどん - Swift change, だんだん - Gradual change

Structure
どんどん + Phrase
Details
Register Standard
使用域 一般
Information
どんどん (or ドンドン) is one of the countless words in Japanese that represent a particular sound or sensation. These words are known as onomatopoeia (オノマトペ in Japanese). どんどん represents the sound of banging (like on a drum), or the pounding of feet. In this way, it is regularly translated as ‘rapidly’, or ‘quickly’.
Like だんだん, どんどん may be used before almost any phrase.
  • 彼女(かのじょ)出来(でき)からどんどんお金(かね)減(へ)っ
    Since I got a girlfriend, my cash has been rapidly decreasing.
  • どんどん頼(たの)ん
    Quickly order! (Literally means ‘more and more’ in a sentence like this, with the nuance of ‘don’t hold back, order in rapid succession’)
While どんどん can take the particle , it is not required. In fact, is very often omitted from adverbs/onomatopoeic words in Japanese.
  • バス運転手(うんてんしゅ)どんどん減(へ)っている
    The number of bus drivers is rapidly decreasing.
Caution
Initially, it can be easy to mix-up どんどん, with だんだん. だんだん is used to express slower changes, and may be thought of as similar to ‘steadily’, or ‘step by step’ in English.
  • 毎日(まいにち)ピアノ練習(れんしゅう)ているからだんだんピアノ上手(じょうず)にな
    Because I practice the piano everyday, I have steadily gotten better at playing. (Slow progression)
  • 毎日(まいにち)ピアノ練習(れんしゅう)ているからどんどんピアノ上手(じょうず)にな
    Because I practice the piano everyday, I have rapidly gotten better at playing. (Rapid progression)
Fun Fact
When the particle is used with onomatopoeic words, it is very similar to one of ’s main usages as a quotation marker in Japanese. This means that has a similar role to words like ‘went’, or ‘goes’ in English. For example, In English, we would say:
The door ‘goes’ BANG with the wind.
However, the door doesn’t actually go anywhere. This is similar to what is doing here.
Slow Male
Hide All
Hide Japanese
Hide English
どんどん暑(あつ)くなる
It will progressively get warmer and warmer.
Play  
どんどん日本語(にほんご)上手(じょうず)なりたい
I want to progressively get better at Japanese.
Play  
先週(せんしゅう)から彼(かれ)意見(いけん)どんどん増(ふ)えた。
(The number of) his opinions have rapidly increased starting from last week.
Play  
Online
TheJapanesePage
Books
Tobira
Page 195