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Cause and effect with "yinwei" and "suoyi"

You will often come across “因为 (yīnwèi)⋯⋯ , 所以 (suǒyǐ)⋯⋯" in both written and spoken Chinese. This pattern will give your Chinese a more logical structure, and can help make you more persuasive.

Using 因为 by itself to explain causes

A common way to explain causes in Chinese is with 因为 (yīnwèi). This is almost entirely equivalent to "because" in English. Usually 因为 (yīnwèi) will begin a new phrase in a sentence.

Structure

In this structure, we first state the result, and then give the reason in the next statement after the 因为 (yīnwèi).

Result ,因为 + Reason

Examples

  • 他 学 得 很 快, 因为 他 很 聪明。Tā xué de hěn kuài, yīnwèi tā hěn cōngming. He learns fast because he is smart.
  • 我 爱 吃 四川 菜, 因为 很 辣。 Wǒ ài chī Sìchuān cài, yīnwèi hěn là. I love eating Sichuan food because it's very spicy.
  • 我 在 学习 中文 , 因为 我 想 去 中国。Wǒ zài xuéxí Zhōngwén, yīnwèi wǒ xiǎng qù Zhōngguó. I am studying Chinese because I want to go to China.
  • 我 不 喜欢 她,因为 她 不 友好。Wǒ bù xǐhuan tā, yīnwèi tā bù yǒuhǎo. I don't like her because she is very unfriendly.
  • 今天 我们 很 忙,因为 有 很 多 工作。Jīntiān wǒmen hěn máng, yīnwèi yǒu hěn duō gōngzuò. We are very busy today because we have lots of work.

Using 所以 by itself to explain results

Just as 因为 (yīnwèi) can be used to explain causes, 所以 (suǒyǐ) can be used to explain results. This is the equivalent of "so…" or "therefore…" in English.

Structure

This pattern is similar to the expression using both 因为 (yīnwèi) and 所以 (suǒyǐ), but it leaves out the beginning 因为 (yīnwèi). This structure is more informal.

Reason ,所以 + Result

Examples

  • 汉字 太 难 了,所以 我 不 想 学 。Hànzì tài nán le, suǒyǐ wǒ bù xiǎng xué. Chinese characters are too hard, so I don't want to study them.
  • 她 很 漂亮,所以 很 多 男孩 喜欢 她。Tā hěn piàoliang, suǒyǐ hěn duō nánhái xǐhuan tā. She is beautiful, so a lot of boys like her.
  • 他 找到 工作 了 , 所以 他 很 高兴。Tā zhǎo dào gōngzuò le, suǒyǐ tā hěn gāoxìng. He found a job so he's happy.
  • 我 太 忙 了,所以 没有 时间 给 你 打 电话。Wǒ tài máng le, suǒyǐ méiyǒu shíjiān gěi nǐ dǎ diànhuà. I was too busy, so I didn't have time to give you a call.
  • 我们 公司 有 很 多 外国人,所以 我们 要 说 英文。Wǒmen gōngsī yǒu hěn duō wàiguórén, suǒyǐ wǒmen yào shuō Yīngwén. There are a lot of foreigners in our company, so we need to speak English.

Using 因为 and 所以 together

The full pattern "因为 (yīnwèi)⋯⋯ , 所以 (suǒyǐ)⋯⋯" is used to clearly indicate cause and effect. They could be thought of as equating to: "Since ___ happened, so ___ happened."

Structure

因为 + Cause, 所以 + Effect

This expresses that because of cause, therefore there is a result.

Examples

  • 因为 我 有 一个 中国 女朋友,所以 我 要 学 中文。Yīnwèi wǒ yǒu yī gè Zhōngguó nǚpéngyou, suǒyǐ wǒ yào xué Zhōngwén. Since I have a Chinese girlfriend, I need to study Chinese.
  • 因为 他 生病 了,所以 没 去 上课。 Yīnwèi tā shēngbìng le, suǒyǐ méi qù shàngkè. Since he was sick, he didn't go to class.
  • 因为 我 很 累,所以 要 休息。Yīnwèi wǒ hěn lèi, suǒyǐ yào xiūxi. I'm very tired, so I want to rest.
  • 因为 太 远 了,所以 我 不 想 去。Yīnwèi tài yuǎn le, suǒyǐ wǒ bù xiǎng qù. Since it's too far, I don't want to go.
  • 因为 太 忙, 所以 我们 没有 时间 吃 中饭。 Yīnwèi tài máng, suǒyǐ wǒmen dōu méiyǒu shíjiān chī zhōngfàn. We were too busy, so none of us had time to eat lunch.

See also

Sources and further reading

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