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Conjunctions In Mandarin Chinese: A Simple Guide

Definition: We use conjunctions for connecting words or ideas within a sentence. However conjunctions are used between two sentences to join them.

EnglishChinesePinyin
and
withTóng
whileÉr
or或 / 或者Huò / huòzhě
not only不但Bùdàn
but also而且Érqiě
though虽 / 虽然Suī / suīrán
but但 / 但是Dàn / dànshì
yet然而Ránér
because因 / 因为Yīn / yīnwèi
therefore所以Suǒyǐ
if如 / 如果Rú / rúguǒ
only if只有Zhǐyǒu
so long as只要Zhǐyào
in order to为了Wèile

NOTES:

  • Paired Conjunctions Unlike English conjunctions, some paired conjunctions could be distributed in different clauses for some complex sentences. Let see a couple of examples:

  • Paired Conjunctions Unlike English conjunctions, some paired conjunctions could be distributed in different clauses for some complex sentences. Let see a couple of examples:

She hasn't come because she's got something else to do at home.

因 为 家 里 有 事 , 所 以 她 没 有 来

Yīn wéi jiā li yǒushì, suǒyǐ tā méiyǒu lái

He is poor, but he is happy

他 虽 然 很 穷 , 但 很 快 活

Tā suīrán hěn qióng, dàn hěn kuàihuó

Many times, we can omit one of the separated pair in paired conjunction structure. Let see some examples:

She hasn't come because she's got something else to do at home.

家 里 有 事 , 所 以 她 没 有 来 -----> without 因 为

Jiā li yǒushì, suǒyǐ tā méiyǒu lái

He is poor, but he is happy

他 很 穷 , 但 很 快 活 -----> without 虽 然

Tā hěn qióng, dàn hěn kuàihuó

ParataxisIf a sentence with connective is clear without say the connective conjunction, Chinese people don't use the conjunction. Let see some examples:

north, south, east and west

东 南 西 北 --- not as --> 东 南 西 和 北

Dōng Nán Xi Běi --- not as --> Dōngnán xi hé běi

A, B, C and D

甲 乙 丙 丁 --- not as -->甲 乙 丙 和 丁

Jiǎ Yǐ Bǐng Dīng --- not as --> Jiǎ Yǐ Bǐng hé Dīng

streets and lanes

大 街 小 巷 --- not as -->大 街 和 小 巷

Dàjiē Xiǎo xiàng --- not as --> Dàjiē hé Xiǎo xiàng

She likes singing and dancing.

她 爱 唱 歌 跳 舞 --- better than -->她 爱 唱 歌 和 跳 舞

Tā ài chànggē tiàowǔ --- better than --> Tā ài chànggē hé tiàowǔ

If you don't use your Chinese you'll forget it.

汉语不用就容易忘。 --- not as -->如果汉语不用就容易忘

Hànyǔ bùyòng jiù róngyì wàng --- not as --> Rúguǒ hànyǔ bùyòng jiù róngyì wàng


Author: Zoe Mei
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