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Commonly Used Chinese Word Pairs Part II

Sep. 29, 2018

HSK 3 quiz

If you want to evolve your spoken Chinese beyond baby talk, it is necessary to be able to improve how you express your thoughts. One way to do this is to use “因果关系 (yīnguǒ guānxì) cause and effect relation.” Let’s explore more commonly associated words to use when describing various situations.

1. 因为 (Yīnwèi)…所以 (suǒyǐ)…

The first most common way to explain causes in Chinese is with “因为 (yīnwèi).” This is equivalent to “because” in English. Just as “因为 (yīnwèi)” can be used to explain causes, “所以 (suǒyǐ)” can be used to explain results.

The structure for this is: 因为 + Cause, 所以 + Effect.

“因为/所以 (Yīnwèi/suǒyǐ)” is used to clearly indicate cause and effect. They could be thought of as equating to: “Since ___ happened, therefore ___ happened.”

(Take This Quiz About “因为…所以” And You Will Know How to Use It Appropriately.)

Example:

Yīnwèi wǒmen gōngsī yǒu hěnduō Zhōngguórén, suǒyǐ wǒ yào xué zhōngwén.
因为我们公司有很多中国人,所以我要学中文。
There are a lot of Chinese people in our company, so I need to learn Chinese.

2. 既然 (Jìrán)…就 (jiù)…

The next set of “因果关系 (yīnguǒ guānxì) cause and effect relation” is “既然 (jìrán)/就 (jiù).” “既然 (jìrán)” means “since,” and is often followed by “就 (jiù)” to mean “since/then.”

The structure for this is: 既然+Fact, 就+Suggestion

(How to Use the Commonly Associated Word Like “就 (jiù)?”)

This construction is not generally used to express a result, but more of a suggestion or inference deduced from the first fact. It can be placed before or after the subject. But if the subjects in the two clauses are the same, “既然 (jìrán)” is more often put after the subject.

Example:

Jìrán fàngjià le, jiù xiǎngshòu yíxià ba.
既然放假了,就享受一下吧。
Since it’s a holiday, enjoy it.

3. 既 ()…又 (yòu)…

We can also use “并列关系 (bìngliè guānxì) coordinate relation” such as “既 ()” in conjunction with “又 (yòu)” to express that something is “both A and B.”

Express this it with: 既 + A + 又 + B

(Are There Any Differences Between “既…又” And “又…又”?)

A and B can be adjectives, verbs or short phrases. Most of the time A and B will use the same part of speech, for example, if A is an adjective B will also be an adjective.

Example:

Tā jì měilì yòu shànliáng.
她既美丽又善良。
She is both beautiful and kind.

4. 一边 (Yìbiān)…一边 (yìbiān)…

Lastly, to express that one thing is done while doing something else, the word “一边 (yìbiān)” is used. The structure for this is: Subj. + 一边 + Verb+ 一边 + Verb

It is good to note that you sometimes see “一边 (yìbiān)” shortened to “边 (biān)” as well, which has a less formal feel.

Example:

Tā yìbiān chànggē yìbiān tiàowǔ.
她一边唱歌一边跳舞。
She sang as she danced.

Now that you know how to combine related word pairs to express your thoughts, try making your own sentences in the comments for practice.

HSK 3 quiz

1. Please fill in the blanks with appropriate associated words. 

Hěnduō rén (   ) zǒulù, (   ) wán shǒujī.
很多人 (   ) 走路,(   ) 玩手机。

A. 既然 (Jìrán)···就 (jiù)···

B. 因为 (Yīnwèi)···所以 (suǒyǐ)···

C. 一边 (Yìbiān)···一边 (yìbiān)···

See Answer Analysis

— Written by Julia Liu —
Julia Liu teaches Chinese with eChineseLearning. She has been successfully teaching for 5 years and loves reading and practices her passion for drawing in her free time.

Beginner Guide to Chinese Grammar:
Mini-Test Answer: “太 (tài)”
Two Useful Chinese Sentence Structures!
Master the Passive Voice with “被 (bèi)”

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