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How to Express “React Quickly” in Chinese — 连忙 vs 急忙 vs 匆忙

When you approach higher language levels, it`s unavoidable to try and use more complex words to express more specific and detailed meanings. That`s why after you pass the beginning phase, more and more synonyms you are taught. It`s can be troublesome to deal with such a situation. So, to help you, we are now going to distinguish between three synonyms 连忙, 急忙, and 匆忙 which are all usually translated as “to react quickly” in English.

连忙 (liánmáng)

连忙 means “to react quickly just as something happens.” It is an adverb which usually serves as an adverbial modifier, and you are not allowed to add “地” after it.

This word is usually used to state facts and situations. But it cannot be used in sentences which indicate requirements, demands, or questions.


(Wǒ kànjiàn tā láile, liánmáng qù kāimén.)
I saw him coming and quickly went to open the door.

(Nǐ liánmáng qù kāimén.)
You are quick to open the door.

你连忙去哪儿 ?(X)
(Nǐ liánmáng qù nǎr?)
Where are you going so hurriedly?

(Tīng shuō tā zhùyuànle, tā nǚ péngyǒu liánmáng qù kàn tā.)
I heard that he was hospitalized and his girlfriend went to see him in a hurry.

(Nǐ liánmáng qù yīyuàn kàn nǐ nán péngyǒu ba!)
Go quickly to the hospital to see your boyfriend!

(Nǐ liánmáng qù yīyuàn kàn shéi?)
Who are you going to see in the hospital so quickly?

急忙 (jímáng)

Similar to 连忙,急忙is an adverb serving as an adverbial modifier. Also, we cannot add 地 after it.

急忙 can be directly translated as “in a hurry”, “ hurriedly”, or “hastily”. This is used to indicate that something is urgent or someone is worried about something.

We can double the word 急忙following the pattern “AABB”,which is 急急忙忙.


(Tā fāxiàn tā wùhuìle, yúshì jímáng qù jiěshì.)
He found that she misunderstood, so he rushed to explain.

(Bié jí jí máng máng de, zài xiūxí huìr ba!)
Don’t hurry, take a break!

(Zǎoshang dàjiā dōu jí jí máng máng qù shàngbān.)
Everyone was rushing to work in the morning.

(Wǒ zuì hǎo de péngyǒu lái wǒ de chéngshì kàn wǒ, wǒ jímáng qù chēzhàn jiē tā.)
My best friend came to see me in my city. I rushed to pick her up at the station.

匆忙 (cōngmáng)

匆忙 means “in a hurry”. But it is different from 连忙and 急忙,匆忙 is an adjective, which can be modified by adverbs of degree, like “很”, “非常”, “特别”, “太”,  etc. It can serve as a predicate, attribute, complement, and adverbial modifier. We can also double the word into the “AABB” pattern, 匆匆忙忙.

匆忙 emphasizes time that is urgent.


(Nǐ zuótiān zǒu de hěn cōngmáng, wèishéme?)
You were rushing yesterday, why?

(Bùyào cōngmáng zuò juédìng.)
Don’t rush to make a decision.

(Zuò shìqíng bùyào zǒng shì cōngcōng máng máng de, huì chū wèntí de.)
Do not always do things in a hurry, there will be problems.

(Wǒmen měi cì jiànmiàn dōu cōngcōng máng máng.)
Every time we meet in a hurry.

Today’s modern digital world, with the internet and mobile phones, requires fast reactions. Everyone is often in a rush to get somewhere or to finish something. Master these Chinese synonyms for how to “react quickly” and you’ll be able to express yourself about how fast life can be nowadays. Check more HSK 5 grammar video lessons here.


Jing Cao is the chief-editor and co-founder of DigMandarin. She has a master's degree in Chinese Linguistics and Language Aquisition and has taught thousands of students for the past years. She devotes herself to the education career of making Chinese learning easier throughout the world.

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