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The dictionary says that 倔强 = stubborn, 固执 = stubborn, 顽固 =obstinate, stubborn. I looked up some sample sentences and felt like 倔强 and 固执 are synonyms. So are 倔强 and 固执 synonyms or do they have some difference in actual usage? If they have some difference can you guys provide some situation to use 倔强 and 固执? Because I don't know how to differentiate them 😅. And btw does 顽固 mean obstinate only or can it also mean stubborn like 倔强 and 固执?

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倔 = blunt 强 = strong

倔强 = stubborn (resist with strong will, e.g. force, persuasion)

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固 = fixed

执 = holding on

固执 = stubborn (fixated and holding on to it, e.g. opinion, believe)

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顽 = tough

固 = fixed

顽固 = stubborn (stubbornly fixated , e.g. opinion, believe)

倔强, 固执 and 顽固 can all be a description of someone's stubborn personality.

  • 倔强 emphasize on the strong-willed aspect of stubborn

  • 固执 emphasize on the fixation aspect of stubborn

  • 顽固 emphasize on the unyielding aspect of stubborn

You try to force or persuade your daughter to give up an unrealistic dream, but she stubbornly refuses. That is she being 倔强 (she is so strong-willed, she wouldn't yield to force or persuaded by reasons)

You try to convince an old man that he should not trust traditional Chinese medicine over modern western medicine, but he stubbornly holding on to the believe that traditional Chinese medicine works better than modern western medicine. That is he being 固执 or 顽固 (he is fixated on his believe and firmly holding on it)

  • 固执 is a neutral term, we have a saying 擇善固执 (pick a good believe and hold firm), so when we say someone being 固执 on a subject, we do not imply he is actually right or wrong

  • 顽固 is mostly a derogatory term, when we say someone being 顽固 on a subject, we actually imply he is wrong

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固执 and 顽固 may be considered synonyms, not synonymous with 倔强, for any difference between 固执 and 顽固 see "汉语同义词词典"[同]形容词。形容人坚持某种主张,不肯改变。[异]

固执]着重于不管是否正确,一味坚持自己的意见和作法,不肯变通。用来形容人的"性情、性格、脾气、想法"等。多用于贬义。例:(1)看来,他也很固执,我并不希望我的话能轻易说服他。(孙梨<读作品记(三)>)(2)第二年换了个学堂,老师守旧固执,不让我继续读新国语课本而要我回头来重新学老一套。(方敬<童年琐忆>)(3)傅涛教授不由得细细地打量着这个固执而古怪的孩子。(张浩<从森林里来的孩子>)(4)向他告辞的时候,他起身要送我到门口,他固执地颤抖着拿了拐杖就往外走。(赵清阁<日记拾遣>)

顽固]着重于思想保守,不愿意接受新鲜事物或坚持政治上的反动观点,死不改变。语意比"固执"重。用来形容非常守旧落后的人或敌对分子、反对势力等。贬义词。常说"顽固不化"。可构成"顽固性"、"顽固派"、"顽固分子"。例:(1)上级批评俺家他爹不参加土地合作社。不是他不参加,是俺家他爷爷顽固。(孙梨<杨国元>)(2)他代表匈奴那一部分最顽固的社会势力。不事生产,只靠劫掠虏获为生,在抢劫杀人中得到快乐。(曹禺<王昭君>)(3)我们从血的教训中更清醒地认清了种族主义顽固派的本质,所以不得不重新考虑此前做出的关于参加政府,联合执政的决定。对种族主义只能镇锋相对。(4)他否认生产迅速集中的趋势,强调小生产的顽固性,并认为卡特尔和托拉斯可以免除危险。(周一良、吴于廑主编<世界通史>)

[附]"固执"兼属动词。表示坚持己见,不肯改变,如"不要固执己见"。"顽固"与"老"构成名词"老顽固",指思想极其守旧,不肯接受新事物的人,如"他爹是个老顽固"。

bkrs: 倔强 [stubborn; unbending; unyielding] 刚强, 不屈服 倔强劲 倔强的脾气 他从小性格倔强。强硬直傲,不屈於人。syn.同义: 拗, 倔头倔脑, 犟头犟脑, 桀傲不驯

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