Expressing "as one likes" with "jiu"
When we want to express "to do something as one pleases," we can use the "想 (xiǎng) verb 就 (jiù) verb" pattern.
This structure is similar to how we would say in English, "whatever I want to eat, I eat" or, "wherever I want to go, I go." The verb that comes after the 想 and the 就 are the same verb.
想 + Verb + 就 + Verb
- 想 吃 就 吃 。If you want to eat, help yourself.
- 想 走 就 走 吧 。Leave if you want to.
- 想 买 就 买 ，不用 问 我 。If you want to buy it, go ahead. You don't need to ask me.
- 别 害怕 ，想 说 就 说 。Don't be afraid. If you want to say, say it.
- 想 做 就 做 ，考虑 那么 多 干吗 ？If you want to do it, do it. Why do you need to think about it so much?
You can also add in a question word, like 什么, 哪儿, or 怎么. When this is the case, the pronouns don't necessarily refer to anything specific. They can be seen more as words like "whatever" or "wherever." This way, question pronouns (什么,谁,什么时候,etc) serve as "indefinite references."
想 + Verb + [Question Word] + 就 + Verb + [Question Word]
- 想 去 哪儿 就 去 哪儿 。You can go wherever you'd like to go.
- 想 请 谁 就 请 谁 。You can invite whoever you like.
- 想 什么 时候 来 就 什么 时候来 。You can come whenever you like.
- 想 点 什么 就 点 什么 ，我 请客 。You can order whatever you like. I'm buying.
- 这些 钱 我 想 怎么 花 就 怎么 花 。I will spend this money however I like.
- "If…, then…" with "ruguo…, jiu…"
- Expressing "Anyway" as "fanzheng"
- Conditions with "yao" and "jiu"
- Expressing indifference with "jiu"
Sources and further reading
- HSK Standard Course 3 (pp. 67) →buy
- 现代汉语虚词例释 (pp. 305) →buy
- Integrated Chinese: Level 1, Part 2 (3rd ed) (pp. 272) →buy
- 卓越汉语－公司实战篇 (pp. 59, 104-5) [ →buy] (Indefinite References)
- 40 Lessons for Basic Chinese Course (基础汉语40课下册） (pp. 414) →buy (Indefinite References)