I saw sentence xiànzài wǒ zhèngzài xué hànyǔ. And I can understand it as "I'm learning Chinese now". What bothers me is would it be any different meaning if I just say xiànzài wǒ xué hànyǔ? Or even wǒ zhèngzài xué hànyǔ?

P.S. I'm also assuming that zhèngzài can be replaced with zài without changing in meaning, am I right?

  • 1
    see grammars on "The progressive aspect of an action" 动作的进行 which is formed with adverbs 正、在 or 正在 (discussed at this site before) with no essential difference between the 3. 现在 is a time adverb, which can be replaced by adverbs indicating other times whose meaning is (more or less) independent of the aspect meaning of 正、在 or 正在。Naturally, e.g. in 某人在做着某种活动,depending on context 现在 may be understood and therefore redundant.
    – user6065
    Commented Jun 15, 2018 at 4:09
  • @user6065 so you would rather say xiànzài wǒ xué hànyǔ than xiànzài wǒ zhèngzài xué hànyǔ/wǒ zhèngzài xué hànyǔ, right? Commented Jun 15, 2018 at 6:27
  • the other way round, omit 现在 if you like, comment #1 is supposed to suggest 现在 could be omitted from 我现在正在学汉语 to get 我正在学汉语, the basic idea is 我正在学汉语, comment #1 may have misled reader, because 现在 was already omitted in the last sentence.
    – user6065
    Commented Jun 15, 2018 at 8:06
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    @user6065 got you, tanks. Can you post is an answer so that i could accept it? Commented Jun 15, 2018 at 10:54

1 Answer 1


"现在", "正在", "在" all have the meaning of "now", but have slightly differences. "现在" is more like "nowadays", "正在" and "在" are equivalent to me, they are all like "-ing" in English. "现在我正在学汉语" sounds like "Nowadays I'm learning Chinese". "我正在学汉语" means "I'm learning Chinese". "现在我学汉语" is weird, it's like "Nowadays I learn Chinese". And you are right, as a Chinese, "正在" and "在" are equal to me if you want to use them to express "-ing".

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