Amusingly enough, it seems like by swapping the kanji in 始終 you can get a slightly different word. What is the difference between the two of them? I found some answers on Japanese sites but reading them I feel like I'm just going through a bunch of synonyms and very similar descriptions. An English answer would really help...


1 Answer 1


始終(しじゅう) is relatively rare in modern Japanese, except that a four-kanji compound 一部始終 is common. Standalone 始終 mainly appears in stiff literary works as an adverb meaning "all the time". If I heard 始終 in conversation, I might not understand it.

終始(しゅうし) is much more common than 始終. It can also mean "all the time" or "always", but I think it tends to mean "from beginning to end (of a certain event, etc)" more often. 終始 is also a suru-verb. ~に終始する is a common phrase meaning "to do only ~ from beginning to end."

The meeting was in a good mood from beginning to end.

In his speech, he entirely focused on making excuses.


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