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Have you studied the basic Chinese conjunctions in the first post? If not, go back and brush up on those before moving on. This post introduces some compound conjunctions, which use a few of the words we learned in the first lesson in a more advanced way.
This is a very versatile Chinese conjunction, as it can be used to both exclude (apart from/except) and include (in addition). Here are a few examples of this conjunction being used in an exclusive way:
You’ll notice in those two examples the use of the word 都 (dōu), meaning “all.” In the first sentence, this shows that the person studies all days apart from Saturday. In the second, they like all sports except football. Now let’s see how this conjunction can be used to be inclusive.
You’ll notice in those examples the use of 也 (yě) and 还 (hái), both meaning “also.” You can use either one, with the end result being an inclusive sentence. Aren’t compound conjunctions fun?!
This one may seem a bit odd to native English speakers, as it’s not necessary to add “but” in English. It is necessary in Chinese, though. This structure shows that while the first part of the sentence is true, there is an adverse reaction in the second part. Take a look at a few examples:
It might seem strange to English speakers to add the “but” in the middle of the sentence there, but that’s just the way it is in Chinese. Remember, you can’t always directly translate!
Just like the example above, this one might seem odd to English speakers. While we wouldn’t add “so” in the middle of a sentence starting with “because,” that’s just the way it is in Chinese. See how it’s used in these examples:
Basically, the pattern for using this compound conjunction is: 因为 + Cause , 所以 + Effect. Try practicing it and making a few sentences of your own!
There are certainly other conjunctions, both simple and compound, but the ones that we’ve covered in these two posts are very common and will get you well on your way to improving your Chinese fluency. Nobody likes homework, but it’s a good idea to come up with your own examples for all of them, even if they’re very simple.