Grammar Info
N4 Lesson 1: 5/18

Progressively, Rapidly increasing, More and more

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

どんどん + Phrase
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使用域 一般
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.
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.
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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.
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