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Expressing "only if" with "zhiyou"

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只有 (zhǐyǒu) means "only if," and is used with 才 (cái) to emphasize that only one course of action will bring about the desired outcome.


只有 + Essential Condition + 才 + Desired Outcome


  • 只有 努力 能 做 好 工作。Only with hard work is it possible to do a good job.
  • 只有 经济 发展 会 有 更 好 的 明天。Only if the economy develops will it be possible to have an even better tomorrow.
  • 只有 多 吃饭 能 长高。Only if you eat more will you be able to grow tall.

See also

Sources and further reading