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Expressing "since" with "jiran"

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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.

Structure

既然+Fact, 那 / 就 / 那就+Suggestion / Inference

Examples

  • 既然 不 想 说,那就 别 说 了。Since you don't want to speak, just don't say it.a suggestion)
  • 既然 你 那么 喜欢,那就 买 吧。 Since you like it so much, buy it then.a suggestion)
  • 既然 刚刚 分手, 现在 应该 是 单身 吧。 Since she just had a breakup, she should be single now.an inference)
  • 既然 你们 是 好 朋友, 他 肯定 会 帮 你 吧。Since you guys are good friends, he will definitely help you.an inference)
  • 既然 大家 都 不 感 兴趣, 换 个 话题 吧。Since nobody is interested, let's change the topic.a suggestion)

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.

Structure

既然 + Fact, (那 +)rhetorical question

Examples

  • 既然 不 喜欢 他,为什么 还 想 跟 他 出去?Since you don't like him, why do you want to go out with him?a suggestion)
  • 既然 你 已经 决定 了,为什么 现在 后悔?Since you've made your decision, don't regret it then.a suggestion)
  • 既然 他 那么 忙,你 为什么 还 去 打扰 他?Since he's so busy, why would you bother him?a suggestion)
  • 既然 已经 分手 了,为什么 还 要 见面?Since we broke up, why would we still see each other?a suggestion)
  • 既然 你 男朋友 那么 有 钱, 他 为什么 不 能 大方 一点?Since your boyfriend is so rich, why can't he be more generous?a suggestion)

See also

Sources and further reading

Books