I'm struggling with a couple things...first is the ability to know when is the right time to use each of the above, each which seems to more or less mean "to concentrate on".

I think 关注 has the meaning more of like, following the news, updates, or something.

And I think 专心 is to concentrate in general, whereas 专注 might be to concentrate at the exclusion of other things... but I have no clue. And I'm struggling to figure out when you need 于 afterwards, and when you don't.


3 Answers 3

  • 关注 has different meaning with 专心 and 专注. 关注 doesn't mean to concentrate. Usually 关注 means to care about or to pay attention to sth.
  • 专心 and 专注 are very similar. They can be alternative to each other most of the time, although there are some collocations you can only use one of them.
  • As for , it is a preposition, same as on here. If you use 专心 or 专注 as a verb (usually a intransitive verb), then you may need it.
  • Though 专心/注 can be verb, they are often used as adverb too. In such case, no more .
  • The (little) difference between 专心/注:
    • 专心 is used more often to describe one's inner condition, while 专注 is used for one's appearance, look or expression.
  • 1
    Would be helpful if the answer actually included what is the small dissimilarity between 专心 and 专注 May 10, 2017 at 4:00
  • @MariaEfremova Thanks for the advice. Answer edited.
    – halfelf
    May 10, 2017 at 4:12

专 = exclusive/concentrate

心 = heart/mind

专心 = concentrate (of mind set) *

  • not concern about anything else

Example: 专心读书 (concentrate on study); 专心工作 (concentrate on work)


专 = exclusive/concentrate

注 = pay attention

专注 = concentrate (of attention) / pay full attention

  • pay no attention to anything else

Example: 专注读书 (pay full attention to one's study); 专注工作 (pay full attention to one's work)


关注 = 关心 (concern) + 注视 (pay attention to) = pay serious attention

于 is a preposition(on; at; to) before the object. It is better be omitted from phrases like 专心(于)读书 or 专注(于)工作 to make it less wordy.

  • This is great! To clarify, are there any cases where 于 must be present? Or where having it is incorrect grammatically (vs being wordy)? Thanks again May 10, 2017 at 4:55
  • 1
    The question should be " When can we omit 于?" -- 专心读书 (concentrate on study) or 专注工作 (concentrate on work) is grammatically correct, but omitting the preposition 于(on) does not change the context. We can omit the preposition if is clearly implied . For example: "I work hard on writing my novel" and "I work hard writing my novel" mean the same thing.
    – Tang Ho
    May 10, 2017 at 5:52
  • 1
    I meant if you need a preposition to connect a verb and a noun, or an adverb and verb, you should has it in place first, and then see if you can omit it. For example, if you omit the 于 in 沉醉于工作 (immerse in work) the meaning of the phrase would become unclear, - 沉醉工作 could mean "he is deeply drunk while he works."
    – Tang Ho
    May 10, 2017 at 6:06
  • I see -- very helpful!! May 10, 2017 at 16:44

It depend where you use the word:

专心 ----> a general qualification about concentrate, can used in housework, in watching film, walking on the road etc etc.

专注 ---> we talk on a project, a work, or sth need to spend lots of mindwork.

Hope you understand the subtle diffr.

the farther one is: 关注 ---> it's a bit formal word, used more or less in the reportage in news or some charitable activities, eg. we 关注 the degradation of the environement, the famine in some poor area; or eg. The mayor 关注 on the event of the traffic accident/strike.

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