How do you read 早々 in these sentences?

I learned there are two readings: そうそう、and はやばや。

How do they differ, if at all?

早々にごへんじいただきありがとうございます。 Thank you for your prompt reply.

新年早々、借金を催促されるなんてひどすぎる。 It’s too cruel to demand money right after the start of the new year.

2 Answers 2


There is a good explanation about the two readings at 例文.jp.

To sum it up:


  • Nowadays generally used as an adverb with the particle と
  • Means "early", "immediately", "quickly"

On Fridays, it was usual for me to finish my work quickly and go straight to the classroom.
Source: 例文.jp


Based on this information, 早々 should be read そうそう in both your sentences. In the first one the 早々{そうそう} is used with the particle に. In the second sentence 早々{そうそう} is a suffix to 新年 and 「新年[早々]{そうそう}」 means "right after the start of the new year" like it's translated.

  • Also I'm not sure if 早々{そうそう} could be used as a standalone adverb because I didn't find any examples
    – siikamiika
    Commented Jul 31, 2017 at 21:08

On WWWJDIC, there are two entries.

早々(P); 早早 【そうそう】 (n-suf,n-adv) (1) as soon as...; just after...; immediately after...; (adv) (2) (usu. as 早々に) hurriedly; in haste; quickly; promptly; early; (P)

早々(P); 早早 【はやばや】 (adv,adv-to) early; quickly; promptly; (P)

As you can see from the entries above, the parts of speech for each of these two readings are different.

Based on this part of speech info, this seems right to me:

早々【そうそう】にごへんじいただきありがとうございます。 Thank you for your prompt reply.

新年早々【しんねん・そうそう】、借金を催促されるなんてひどすぎる。 It’s too cruel to demand money right after the start of the new year.

This is because these both seem to be nounish usages.

  • Both はやばや and そうそう can be used as an adverb meaning "early", with the fact that そうそう would be typically used as そうそうに。It makes sense in the sentences to use そうそう、but what would be an example of using はやばや then? Commented Jul 31, 2017 at 20:56

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