Expressing "since" with "jiran"

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。a suggestionjìrán bù xiǎng shuō, nà jiù bié shuō le.Since you don't want to say, then just don't say.
  • 既然 你 那么 喜欢,那就 买 吧。 a suggestionJìránnàme xǐhuān, nà jiù mǎi ba.Since you like it so much, just buy it.
  • 既然 刚刚 分手, 现在 应该 是 单身 吧。 an inferencejìrán gānggāng fēnshǒu, xiànzài yīnggāi shì dānshēn ba.Since she just had a breakup, she should be single now.
  • 既然 你们 是 好 朋友, 他 肯定 会 帮 你 吧。an inferenceJìrán nǐmen shì hǎo péngyou, tā kěndìng huì bāng nǐ ba.Since you guys are good friends, he will definitely help you.
  • 既然 大家 都 不 感 兴趣, 换 个 话题 吧。a suggestionJìrán dàjiā dōu bù gǎn xìngqù, jiù huàn gè huàtí ba.Since nobody is interested, let's change the topic.

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?a suggestionjìrán bù xǐhuān tā, wèishénme hái xiǎng gēn tā chūqù?Since you don't like him, why would you go out with him?
  • 既然 你 已经 决定 了,为什么 现在 后悔?a suggestionJìrán nǐ yǐjīng juédìng le, wèishénme xiànzài hòuhuǐ?Since you've already made your decision, why regret it now?
  • 既然 他 那么 忙,你 为什么 还 去 打扰 他?a suggestionJìrán tā nàme máng, nǐ wèishénme hái qù dǎrǎo tā?Since he's so busy, why would you go bother him?
  • 既然 已经 分手 了,为什么 还 要 见面?a suggestionJìrán yǐjīng fēnshǒu le, wèishénme hái yào jiànmiàn?Since we've already broken up, why would we still meet up?
  • 既然 你 男朋友 那么 有钱, 他 为什么 不 能 大方 一点?a suggestionJìrán nǐ nán péngyou nàme yǒuqián, nà tā wèishénme bù néng dàfāng yīdiǎn?Since your boyfriend is so rich, why can't he be more generous?

See also

Sources and further reading

Books