what's the difference between 慢慢 and 渐渐?

For example why can you use 慢慢 here,but not 渐渐? ex) 你慢慢吃吧,别着急!

  • Type '慢慢' and '渐渐' into Google Translate and you wouls get 'Slowly' and 'gradually'. If you can't tell the difference between 'slowly' and 'gradually', you can look them up in dictionary and learn the meaning of these two adverbs.
    – Tang Ho
    Dec 15, 2016 at 1:53
  • You could, in most cases that I can think of, use 慢慢 to mean "gradually," unless something is happening both gradually and rapidly, but there are plenty of situations where you wouldn't use 漸漸 to mean "slowly." For instance, I don't think you would say 漸漸地走.
    – Brian Tung
    Dec 23, 2016 at 21:16

4 Answers 4


慢慢means slowly, 渐渐 means gradually.

you said 你可以慢慢吃 = you can eat slowly. but not 你可以渐渐吃 = you can eat gradually.


For people who understand the difference between slowly and gradually, there shouldn't be any problem for them to tell the difference between 慢慢(slowly) and 漸漸(gradually)

慢慢(slowly) is an adverb that describes an action progress in a slow and continuous speed; 漸漸(gradually) is an adverb that describes something progress/change in tiny, almost undetectable increments.

烏雲慢慢散去 means the cloud dissipate in a very slow motion

烏雲漸漸散去 means the cloud dissipates in a very slow motion or dissipates little by little.

慢慢 can modify both action verbs like "speak", "eat" and "walk"; and non-action verbs like "think", "finish" and "understand"

漸漸 mostly modify non-action verbs

Saying 漸漸吃(gradually eat) doesn't make sense, but 漸漸吃完 (gradually finish eating) does.

  • 你多看一些例子,漸漸就會懂了 = see more examples, you will gradually (little by little) understand.

  • 你多看一些例子,慢慢就會懂了 = see more examples, you will slowly(after a long time) understand.


慢慢, a changes that can be easily noticeable/visible within a short moment.

渐渐, a changes that can not be easily noticeable/visible in a short moment.


Because 慢慢 has several meaning depends on context.


慢慢来, 罗马不是一天建成的。 Dont' rush , Rome wasn't built in a day. Slow down, Rome wasn't built in a day


你慢慢吃吧,别着急! Eat slowly, there is nothing to worry about.


慢慢来, 我们餐厅十点才打烊。 No hurry, our restaurant close at 10pmSlow down,

慢慢教,他才六岁而已 Don't rush, he is just 6 year's old

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