What are the differences in use between 普段{ふだん} and 通常{つうじょう}?

I'd written


which was then corrected to


What is the general distinction?


普段 means "usually" in a daily life context. 通常 means "normal", as in the absence of a non-normal situation, especially in a formal context.

They can roughly mean the same thing, e.g. if you say 普段はこの道を通ります or 通常はこの道を通ります, it both means you usually/normally take this route. However, for example you can say 大統領のパレードは通常この道を通ります but not 大統領のパレードは普段この道を通ります because presidential parades aren't daily occurrence.

Conversely you can say 普段は鼻毛を切らない but saying 通常は鼻毛を切らない is odd because it sounds oddly formal and implies there are some extraordinary circumstances where the nose hairs are cut because of it. The former 普段は鼻毛を切らない simply means you usually don't cut your nose hairs.


Good question. I have never particular attention to.

Thus said, they are both synonym of each other.

From my sucking personal life experience, IMO, 通常 sounds rather more formal than 普段. However, it would be slightly.

Certain words do not fit with 通常.

For example,

普段着{ふだんぎ} ordinary cloth you always wear.

Here, we do not say 通常着{つうじょうぎ}, but rather 通常{つうじょう}の格好{かっこう}。


通常運転{つうじょううんてん} ordinary time schedule of certain XXX line,

but we don't say 普段運転{ふだんうんてん}, but rather like [普段通り]{ふだんどおり}の運転{うんてん}.


Kindly get used to term by term, since they are synonym of each other.

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.