Expressing "since the beginning" with "yixiang"

一向 (yī xiàng) is generally used to express a habit, attitude, or ‘set way of things' has continued for a long period of time until the present.


Subj. + 一向 + Habit / Attitude / etc.


  • 一向 是 个 好 学生,怎么 可能 会 作弊 呢?He's always been a good student, why would he possibly cheat?
  • 中国人 一向 把 红色 视为 吉祥 喜庆 的 颜色。Chinese people have always considered red to be a lucky and joyous color.
  • 云南 的 雨季 一向 来 得 很 突然。Yunnan's rainy season always comes suddenly.
  • 他 的 态度 一向 很 认真。His attitude has always been very serious.

一向 cannot be used with verbs involving changes or actions. In this case, 一直 should be used:

So we cannot say:

  • 中国 的经济 一向都在快速发展.
  • 一向 都 在 学 汉语.

一向 indicates that a certain state has continued until the present. It cannot be used to express actions in the future. Again, 一直 can be used instead:

  • 你打算一向在上海工作吗?

See also

Sources and further reading