Expressing "since" with "jiran"
既然 (jìrán) means "since," and is often followed by 就 to mean "since...then...." It is used like this:
既然 Followed by an Affirmative Sentence
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 is more often put after the subject.
既然 ＋ Fact, [那 / 就 / 那就] ＋ Suggestion / Inference
The second halves of following sentences are all suggestions or inferences.
- 你 既然 不 想 说，那就 别 说 了。Since you don't want to say, then just don't say.
- 既然 你 那么 喜欢，那就 买 吧。 Since you like it so much, just buy it.
- 她 既然 刚刚 分手，那 现在 应该 是 单身 吧。 Since she just had a breakup, she should be single now.
- 既然 你们 是 好 朋友，那 他 肯定 会 帮 你 吧。
- 既然 大家 都 不 感 兴趣，就 换 个 话题 吧。Since nobody is interested, let's change the topic.
既然 Followed by a Question
The suggestion or inference deduced from the first "fact" can come in the form of rhetorical question. In this case, 那 can be omitted.
既然 + Fact, (那 +) Rhetorical Question
The second halves of following sentences are all suggestions.
- 你 既然 不 喜欢 他，为什么 还 想 跟 他 出去？Since you don't like him, why would you go out with him?
- 既然 你 已经 决定 了，为什么 现在 后悔？Since you've already made your decision, why regret it now?
- 既然 他 那么 忙，你 为什么 还 去 打扰 他？Since he's so busy, why would you go bother him?
- 既然 已经 分手 了，为什么 还 要 见面？Since we've already broken up, why would we still meet up?
- 既然 你 男朋友 那么 有钱，那 他 为什么 不 能 大方 一点？Since your boyfriend is so rich, why can't he be more generous?
- Cause and Effect with "yinwei" and "suoyi"
- Because" with "er" Indicating Effect
- Expressing "Even if…" with "jishi"
Sources and further reading
- HSK Standard Course 4下 (pp. 47) Anything Goes (无所不谈) →buy
- Chinese Grammar - Broken down into 100 items - Basic and Intermediate Levels (汉语语法百项讲练 - 初中级) (pp. 267-9) Anything Goes (无所不谈) →buy
- Integrated Chinese: Level 2, Part 2 (pp. 289-90) Anything Goes (无所不谈) →buy
- New Practical Chinese Reader 4 (新实用汉语课本4) (pp. 179) Anything Goes (无所不谈) →buy
- 卓越汉语－公司实战篇 (pp. 245) 卓越汉语－公司实战篇 →buy