どんどん + （と） + Phrase
Like だんだん, どんどん may be used before almost any phrase.
- 彼女が出来てからどんどんお金が減っていく。Since I got a girlfriend, my cash has been rapidly decreasing.
- どんどん頼んでね！Quickly order! (Literally means 'more and more' in a sentence like this, with the nuance of 'don't hold back, order in rapid succession')
- バスの運転手がどんどんと減っている。The number of bus drivers is rapidly decreasing.
- 毎日ピアノを練習しているから、だんだんピアノが上手になってきた。Because I practice the piano everyday, I have steadily gotten better at playing. (Slow progression)
- 毎日ピアノを練習しているから、どんどんピアノが上手になってきた。Because I practice the piano everyday, I have rapidly gotten better at playing. (Rapid progression)
The door 'goes' BANG with the wind.
However, the door doesn't actually go anywhere. This is similar to what と is doing here.
It will progressively get warmer and warmer.
I want to progressively get better at Japanese.
(The number of) his opinions have rapidly increased starting from last week.
The Japanese population will rapidly decrease.
The sound will get louder and louder.
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どんどん – Grammar Discussion
Most Recent Replies (4 in total)
You can use both answers here (With slightly different nuances)
As you know, the difference lays in tempo - だんだん would be slower, while どんどん is more rapid. Also, どんどん (comes from drumming noise) sometimes is understood to express continuous change, while だんだん (段々 - kanji used for stairs/steps is used) to express the change that happens in small increments.
This is why どんどん is most of the time translated as “steadily, rapidly, more and more” while だんだん as “gradually, by degrees, by steps, more and more”.
When the last translation is used, the nuance is kind of lost though.
I hope it helps,
どんどん → swift change
だんだん → more gradual change
I keep confusing these two so the way I’m trying to think about them now is:
どんどん - Also used as Japanese onomatopoeic in Katakana for a drumming and banging noise, so typically fast.
だんだん - Derived from the kanji form 段々, you can think of this as ‘step by step’ so typically something more gradual.
Thanks for those explanations! I feel like they point me in the right direction, but I’m not sure how to differentiate between “steadily” and “rapidly”.
E.g., どんどん日本語が上手になりたい。( I want to steadily get better at Japanese.)
If someone tells me that they want to “steadily” get better at it, it feels like “consistent change”, but not necessarily fast. But does どんどん日本語が上手になりたい。 always have the connotations of both “consistently” and “quickly” at the same time? How would I know which one? It feels like most contexts would make both equally likely.
Same problem with 日本の人口がどんどん減る。(The Japanese population will steadily decrease.)
After reading the Japanese sentence, I would’ve expected it to decrease rapidly, but from the English sentence I would expect it to be constant, but not super quick.
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