Occurring together with "shaobuliao"

Sometimes in English, we have "you won't see one without the other." In Chinese, the same sort of idea can be achieved using "少不了" (shǎobuliǎo). It means that if there is one thing, then there is going to be another something along with it.


Subj. + 少不了 + 要 + [Verb Phrase]


  • 学 中文 少不了 要 学 拼音 和 汉字 。Studying Chinese always involves studying pinyin and Chinese characters.
  • 回家 过年 少不了 要 带 点 礼物 给 家人 。When you return home for CNY, you will definitely have to bring back some presents to give to your family.
  • 过 生日 少不了 要 吃 生日 蛋糕 。There are always birthday cakes when we spend birthdays.
  • 大家 都 是 邻居 ,以后 少不了 要 麻烦 您 。We're neighbors, so we'll definitely have to trouble you.

Relating Events

Sometimes, the two things that "少不了" connects aren't objects. Instead they can be events, and the "少不了" is connecting them saying "It's like A because B happened." This construction is often based off of observations or experiences that the speaker has had, so that they can know (or assume) what situations relate to each other. It is often used together with "是."


Situation / Result ,少不了 + 是 + Reason

Note, however, that in this construction, the reason follows "少不了"


  • 八点 多 了 还 没 回 来,少不了 是 在 加班。It's past 8 o'clock he still hasn't come back. He must be working overtime.
  • 看 他 的 样子,少不了 是 跟 女 朋友 吵架 了。Look at how he looks. He must have argued with his girlfriend.
  • 这么 闷热,少不了 是 要 下 暴雨 。It's so stuffy. It must be about to storm.

Sources and Further Reading