Events in quick succession with "yi... jiu..."
This pattern tells us that as soon as one thing happens, then another thing happens immediately afterwards. You mark the two events with 一 (yī) and 就 (jiù).
Used as "As Soon As"
The pattern involves two different events, the first preceded by "一," and then the second event, which follows in quick succession, preceded by 就.
一 + Event 1，就 + Event 2
The subjects of the two "Events" can be the same, but they don't have to be. If they're the same, then you don't need to repeat the subject for the second one.
- 饿 死了，我 一 下课 就 要 去 吃 午饭 。I'm starving. I'm going to have lunch as soon as class is over.
- 你 能 不 能 一 下班 就 去 接 孩子 ？Can you go to pick up our kid as soon as you get off work?
- 妈妈 一 到 家 就 去 做饭 了 。As soon as mom arrived home, she went off to cook.
- 老师 一 来 大家 就 不 说话 了。As soon as the teacher came , everyone stopped talking.
- 我 一 进门 ，小狗 就 跑 了 过来 。As soon as I walked in the door, the puppy ran over to me.
Used as "Every Time"
In this case, 一 means "every time," followed by some certain condition, which could be the reason or the cause of what happens after 就. The subjects of the two "Events" are usually the same.
一 + Reason，就 + Result
- 我 一 想到 这 件 事 就 不 高兴 。Every time I think about this, I get upset.
- 她 一 生气 就 脸红 。Every time she gets angry, her face turns red.
- 你 怎么 一 吃 火锅 就 拉肚子 ？How come you get diarrhea every time you eat hotpot?
- 他 一 上 英语 课 就 想 睡觉 。Every time he has English class, he feels like falling asleep.
- 一 说到 物理 ，我 就 头疼 。Every time we talk about physics, it gives me a headache.
Sources and further reading
- Common Chinese Patterns 330 (汉语常用格式330例) (pp. 184) →buy
- New Practical Chinese Reader 2 (新实用汉语课本2) (pp. 240) →buy
- New Practical Chinese Reader 3 (新实用汉语课本3) (pp. 169) →buy
- Integrated Chinese: Level 1, Part 1 (3rd ed) (pp. 206-7) →buy
- Integrated Chinese: Level 1, Part 2 (3rd ed) (pp. 88-9) →buy
- Integrated Chinese: Level 2, Part 1 (pp. 85-7) →buy
- 40 Lessons for Basic Chinese Course (基础汉语40课上册） (pp. 173, 189) →buy