What is the difference between 依然 and 仍然?

  • 依然 connotes consistence. 仍然 connotes contradiction.
    – 杨以轩
    Commented Apr 28, 2014 at 2:00

2 Answers 2


依然 and 仍然 both can be used as adverb to mean "still". And when used this way, they are interchangable in most cases. You can say "虽然生病,他依然去上学了" or "虽然生病,他仍然去上学了". Both are appropriate.

However 依然 can also be used as a verb, such as "noun + 依然" (most likely in some idioms or phrases). e.g 旧态依然, 风采依然. You cannot use 仍然 in these situations. But anyway, such kind of usage is rarely heard in daily talks.

In addition you'll find 依然 in some classic poems. But I haven't seen any occurence of 仍然 in poetry before 20th century.

  • 1
    Hmm, the "依然" in "风采依然" is not a verb, but a phrase which translates to "is the same as it was".
    – user4086
    Commented Apr 25, 2014 at 14:15
  • 1
    @user1551 In this case I would more accurately describe 依然 as a predicate that consists of a verb-object compound. 依 is the verb and 然 is the object. The reason why 仍然 is not possible is because 仍 is not a verb. In Classical Chinese, 然 can be a standalone word meaning "such, so", roughly corresponding to modern 这样 or 那样. 然 has fossilized in Modern Chinese and is now restricted to set words, the etymology of many of which can be traced back to this usage.
    – Claw
    Commented Apr 25, 2014 at 18:51

From a secondary school of China: http://web.etiantian.com/staticpages/study/question/question_1454993.htm

仍然 is an adverb, be used before the verb, stressing the thing is continued.

依然 is an adjective, be used alone generally, 风景依然 for example. And also, it can be adverb, the same as 仍然 but stressing the thing is as before, nothing changed.

The grammar in example 风采依然 is like 身体健康, noun + adjective. just like subject + contact verb (ignored in Chinese) + predicative.

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