So, I'm looking at a number of verbs that all float around the idea of 'to promote sth', however am not too sure where the dividing lines between them lie. Any help beyond my initial attempt below would be greatly appreciated!

  1. 促进 vs 提倡 - these both seem to mean 'to promote an (intangible) idea or cause', so for example health, generosity, a charity - so to openly say to other people that x is good and that should encorporate these intangible concepts into their lives. What is the difference between the two though?

  2. 推广 - this seems to revolve more around promoting tangible objects, mostly commercial items for sale?

  3. 宣传 - this also seems to mean promote but given that, as a noun, it means propaganda, I suppose it must have some kind of negative connotation. Maybe there is less emphasis on the recipient incorporating the intangible item in question into their lives, but just being aware of it?

Many thanks!

  • I would also mention the strong negative connotation of propaganda in English is more recent (partly because English convention has decided to translate government communication departments that promotes "bad" governments as departments of propaganda). 宣传 has no general negative connotation in Chinese (unless you are using it in specific political sense and you don't like the Party, I suppose), e.g. 宣传片 (publicity videos for corporations etc.) or 宣传材料 (promotional materials) are all neutral terms without specific connotation.
    – xngtng
    Apr 16 '20 at 11:49
  • Actually, that is an interesting point. I hadn't thought about that. Thanks!
    – Hashamyim
    Apr 16 '20 at 11:52

促 = to urge; to speed up

进 = to advance

促进 = to promote (something to make it advance).


(促进)香港旅游业发展 = (to promote/speed up) the development of Hong Kong's tour industry

(促进)血液循环 = (to promote/speed up) blood circulation


提 = bring up

倡 = support

提倡 = to promote (an idea by voicing support)


提倡人人戴口罩 = (Promote/ Voice support for) everyone wearing a mask)

提倡男女平等 = (Promote/ Voice support for) equality between men and women


推 = push

广 = wide

推广 = to promote (to spread an idea to the public)


推广男女平等 = (Promote/ Spread the idea of) equality between men and women

推广学习中文 = (Promote/ Spread the idea/ benefit of) learning Chinese


宣 = to announce

传 = to pass along

宣传 = to promote (to push)


(宣传)香港旅游业 = (Promote/ Push) Hong Kong's tour industry

(宣传)这个新政策 = (Promote/ Push) this new policy

  • Thanks for the input, Tang! I'm almost ready to take HSK5!
    – Hashamyim
    Apr 15 '20 at 13:44

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.