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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.

e.g.

我看见他来了,连忙去开门。(√)

(Wǒ kànjiàn tā láile, liánmáng qù kāimén.)

I saw him coming and quickly went to open the door.

 

你连忙去开门。(X)

(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?

 

听说他住院了,他女朋友连忙去看他。(√)

(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.

 

你连忙去医院看你男朋友吧!(X)

(Nǐ liánmáng qù yīyuàn kàn nǐ nán péngyǒu ba!)

Go quickly to the hospital to see your boyfriend!

 

你连忙去医院看谁?(X)

(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.

e.g.

他发现她误会了,于是急忙去解释。

(Tā fāxiàn tā wùhuìle, yúshì jímáng qù jiěshì.)

He found that she misunderstood, so he rushed to explain.

 

别急急忙忙的,再休息会儿吧!

(Bié jí jí máng máng de, zài xiūxí huìr ba!)

Don’t hurry, take a break!

 

早上大家都急急忙忙去上班。

(Zǎoshang dàjiā dōu jí jí máng máng qù shàngbān.)

Everyone was rushing to work in the morning.

 

我最好的朋友来我的城市看我,我急忙去车站接她。

(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.

e.g.

你昨天走得很匆忙,为什么?

(Nǐ zuótiān zǒu de hěn cōngmáng, wèishéme?)

You were rushing yesterday, why?

不要匆忙做决定。

(Bùyào cōngmáng zuò juédìng.)

Don’t rush to make a decision.

 

做事情不要总是匆匆忙忙的,会出问题的。

(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.

 

我们每次见面都匆匆忙忙。

(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

Jing Cao is the chief editor at Dig Mandarin. She devotes herself to the research of Chinese langugage and how to teach Chinese as a second language better.

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