Expressing "thanks to" with "duokui"
多亏 (duōkuī) can be translated as "thanks to" and is used to express that, due to somebody's help, a negative result has been averted. 了 is often placed after it as it's about something that has been completed.
Basic Pattern with 多亏 (了)
[Good Outcome] ，多亏 (了) + [Lucky Incident]
- 我 能 这么 快 做完 ，多亏 了 你 帮 我 。I was able to finish so quickly thanks to your help.
- 我 没 迟到 ，多亏 了 你 开车 送 我 。I wasn't late, thanks to you giving me a ride.
- 我的 病 很 快 好 了 ，多亏 了 妈妈 仔细 照顾 我。I got well quickly, thanks to my mother's care and attention.
- 项目 可以 顺利 进行，多亏 了 你。谢谢你。Because of you, the project is going smoothly. Thank you.
Pattern with 多亏 and 才
When the good outcome comes before 多亏 (as in the pattern above), there is no need to add in 才. But if the good outcome comes after 多亏, you need to add in 才 to indicate "as a result...(the good outcome happened)." (才 gives the sense that the good outcome wouldn't have happened without that extra help.)
多亏 (了) + [Lucky Incident] ，Subj. 才 + [Good Outcome]
- 多亏 了 你 开车 送 我 ，我 才 没 迟到 。Thanks to your ride, I'm not late to get here.
- 多亏 你 的 伞 ，我 才 没 淋湿 。Thanks to your umbrella, I didn't get wet.
- 多亏 你 帮 我，我 才 能 这么 快 做完 。Thanks to your help, I was able to complete it so quickly.
Advanced Pattern with 多亏 and 不然
If you want to add in 不然 (bùrán) for an "otherwise... (this really bad thing would have happened)" explanation, use this structure.
多亏 (了) + [Lucky Incident] ，不然 + [Bad Outcome]
When translating to English, "thanks to" doesn't always work as well when you have to add in "otherwise."
- 这 件 事情 多亏 了 你 的 提醒 ，不然 我 肯定 忘 了 。Thank you for reminding me about this matter! Otherwise I would definitely have forgetten.
- 多亏 你 送 她 去 医院 ，不然 情况 会 很 严重 。It was a good thing you took her to the hospital, otherwise her condition could have gotten really serious.
- 多亏 了 你 的 建议 ，不然 我 真 不 知道 怎么 办 。It was a good thing you gave me that suggestion, otherwise I really wouldn't have known what to do.
Difference between 多亏 and 幸亏
多亏 (duōkuī) is similar to 幸亏 (xìngkuī) in meaning, the major grammatical similarity being that both can be used with 不然 or 才. But there are a few difference between them:
- Meaning: 多亏 emphasizes a feeling of gratitude towards a specific person for the outcome, rather than attributing it purely to fortune as 幸亏 does.
- Collocations: 多亏 can combine with just a noun phrase, but 幸亏 can't.
- Patterns: 多亏 can be placed in the beginning or the middle of a sentence, while 幸亏 can be only placed in the beginning of the sentence.
Sources and further reading