Difference between revisions of "Expressing "if… then…" with "yaoshi""

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要是 Subj. ⋯⋯ , 就 ⋯⋯
要是 + Subj. ⋯⋯ , 就 ⋯⋯

Revision as of 04:51, 14 February 2018

要是⋯⋯,就⋯⋯ (yàoshi..., jiù...) is one of several ways to convey "If... Then..." It is very similar to 如果..., 就... in usage and formality. However, it is important to note that 要是 is considered to be even more informal (and is usually left more to spoken Chinese) than the common 如果 and used more frequently in the northern areas of China.

Affirmative Form


要是 + Subj. ⋯⋯ , 就 ⋯⋯

Note that the subject can also be placed before 要是.


  • 要是 真 想 我, 给 我 打 电话 。If you do miss me, then give me a call.
  • 要是 我妈 知道 这 件 事,我 死 定了 ! If my mother knew about this, I would be so dead!
  • 要是 老板 不 同意,我们 不 能 跟 客户 签 合同 。If the boss doesn't agree, we can't sign the contract with the client.


  • 再 说 , 我 真 生气 了 。If you keep talking this way, I'll get mad. Seriously.
  • 不 听 , 我 也 没 办法 。If he doesn't listen, there's nothing I can do about it.

Negative Form

if it weren't for


要不是 ⋯⋯ , 就 ⋯⋯


  • 要 不 是 他 求 我 , 我 才 不 帮 你 呢 。If it weren't because he begged me, I wouldn't be helping you.
  • 要 不 是 因为 孩子 ,我 早就 离婚 了 。If it weren't for the sake of kids, I would have divorced him sooner.
  • 要 不 是 堵车 ,我 早就 到 了 。If it weren't for the traffic jam, I would have gotten here sooner.
  • 要 不 是 亲眼 看到 ,我 也 不 相信 。If I hadn't seen it for myself, I wouldn't believe it.
  • 要 不 是 你 提醒 我 ,我 肯定 忘 了 。If it weren't for your reminding me, I would have forgotten.

Colloquial Saying 要我说

Literally 要我说 means "if you ask for my opinion."

A few examples:

  • 要我说 ,你 先 别 告诉 她 。Yào wǒ shuō, nǐ xiān bié gàosu tā.I say don't tell her yet.
  • 要我说 ,你 应该 早点 做 准备 。Yào wǒ shuō, nǐ yīnggāi zǎodiǎn zuò zhǔnbèi.In my opinion, you should start to prepare soon.
  • 要我说 ,什么 时候 开始 都 不 晚 。Yào wǒ shuō, shénme shíhou kāishǐ dōu bù wǎn.I say it's never too late to start.

See also

Sources and further reading