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Expressing "if…, then…" with "ruguo…, jiu…"

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One of the benefits of Chinese is that the grammar is often very logical and concise. In this article, we look at the 如果 ⋯⋯,就⋯⋯ (rúguǒ..., jiù...) structure. We will also look at uses 的话 (dehuà).

Standard Pattern

Structure

如果⋯⋯,就⋯⋯ is an often-used pattern that is utilized in the same way that "If…, then…" is in English.

如果 ⋯⋯ ,就 ⋯⋯

Examples

  • 如果 有 困难 , 给 我 打 电话 。 Rúguǒ yǒu kùnnan, jiù gěi wǒ dǎ diànhuà.If there is any difficulty, give me a call.
  • 如果 你 输 了 , 给 我 一 百 块 。Rúguǒ nǐ shū le, jiù gěi wǒ yī bǎi kuài.If you lose, you need to give me 100 kuai.
  • 如果 真的 找 不 回来 , 再 买 一 个 吧 。Rúguǒ zhēnde zhǎo bu huílái, jiù zài mǎi yī gè ba.If you can't find it, then buy a new one.
  • 如果 他 再 来 ,我们 报警 。Rúguǒ tā zài lái, wǒmen jiù bàojǐng.If he keeps showing up, we'll call the police.
  • 如果 你们 已经 不 相爱 了 , 分手 吧 。Rúguǒ nǐmen yǐjīng bù xiāngài le, jiù fēnshǒu ba.If you no longer love each other, just break up.

Fuller Pattern

Sometimes 那么 (nàme) is used instead of 就 (jiù), imparting a more relaxed, informal feel to the sentence. Sometimes just 那 (nà) will be used instead of 那么 (nàme).

Structure

如果 ⋯⋯ ,那么 / 那 ⋯⋯

Examples

  • 如果 他 知道 , 他 一 定 会 告诉 我 。Rúguǒ tā zhīdào, tā yīdìng huì gàosu wǒ.If he knew, he would definitely tell me.
  • 如果 大家 都 不 感兴趣 , 我 不 说 了。Rúguǒ dàjiā dōu bù gǎn xìngqù, wǒ bù shuō le.If none of you are interested, I will stop talking.
  • 如果 你们 真的 想 合作 ,那么 我们 应该 找 时间 好好 谈谈 。Rúguǒ nǐmen zhēnde xiǎng hézuò, nàme wǒmen yīnggāi zhǎo shíjian hǎohao tántan.If you really want to work with us, then we should schedule a day to discuss it.
  • 如果 能 找到 投资 , 下个月 就 可以 开始 做 了 。Rúguǒ néng zhǎodào tóuzī, xià gè yuè jiù kěyǐ kāishǐ zuò le.If we can find the investment, we'll be able to get on it next month.
  • 如果 你 想 申请 ,那么 现在 就 要 开始 准备 。Rúguǒ nǐ xiǎng shēnqǐng, nàme xiànzài jiù yào kāishǐ zhǔnbèi.If you want to apply, you need to start to prepare right away.

See also

Sources and further reading

Books