What's the difference between 不停 and 不斷 (不断) ? Both mean incessant or unceasing. According to what I know, 不停 is an adverb, while 不斷 (不断) can be an adverb or adjective.

However, this sentence seems to mean the same with both words:

She kept working (she didn't stop working).


  • 1
    Disclaimer: Originally posted on another forum but never answered, if here has a good answer I will post the link back there.
    – tao
    Aug 6, 2013 at 4:47
  • 不停 means without stopping; 不断 means without interruption. Both are quite similar in meaning.
    – 杨以轩
    Aug 6, 2013 at 5:35
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    不停 = 不(not)+停止(stopped), and 不断 = 不(not)+间断(interrupted). Though they emphasize different aspects, they have very similar impressions.
    – Stan
    Aug 6, 2013 at 14:42
  • @Stan 断 in 不断 can also be active voice 'to take break' in many common cases, like 不断学习, 不断进步, 音乐不断, 不断犯错误.
    – NS.X.
    Aug 7, 2013 at 0:14
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    @Stan 'nonstop' or 'tireless(ly)' would work:)
    – NS.X.
    Aug 7, 2013 at 3:36

2 Answers 2


If you go by the meaning of both sentences they mean the same. But these are the words with the same meaning when if you go by the context. But if you see the meaning of 2 words individually they have altogether a different meaning.


不停 means STOP (adverb)

不斷 (不断) means constantly or continued

As you said the second option can be an adverb or adjective, which depends on how you will use that word. So don't go by the meaning of sentences, see words alone.

  • 1
    1) 不停 means STOP might be a typo. 2) why are 不斷 and 不断 listed as two words?
    – Stan
    Aug 6, 2013 at 13:03

You can understand it by each character in the words. 停 means stop while 断 means no more. Thus, 不停 means keep on going while 不断 means it is not the end. You can also compare with 不息 and 不止,there is a saying that 生命不息,奋斗不止 which means I will struggle till the end of my life. 止 has the same meaning as 停 sometimes, for example, 停止. 息 also has the same meaning as 停 here.

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