どんどん - Grammar Discussion

progressively
steadily・rapidly
building up
more and more

Structure

  • どんどん + Phrase

:warning: どんどん → swift change
だんだん → more gradual change

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How is dondon a more swift change in this case? Why can’t you use dandan here?


I interpreted dondon as something that builds up while dandan is something that is just slow or perhaps it can build up as well?

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You can use both answers here (With slightly different nuances)

As you know, the difference lays in tempo - だんだん would be slower, while どんどん is more rapid. Also, どんどん (comes from drumming noise) sometimes is understood to express continuous change, while だんだん (段々 - kanji used for stairs/steps is used) to express the change that happens in small increments.

This is why どんどん is most of the time translated as “steadily, rapidly, more and more” while だんだん as “gradually, by degrees, by steps, more and more”.

When the last translation is used, the nuance is kind of lost though.

I hope it helps,
Cheers!