Expressing "if… then…" with "yaoshi"

Revision as of 04:40, 14 February 2018 by ChenShishuang (talk | contribs)

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.

Positive Form


要是 Subj. ⋯⋯ , 就 ⋯⋯


  • 要是 他 不 来,我们 走 吧。If he doesn't come, we'll have to go.
  • 要是 真 想 我, 给 我 打 电话 吧。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.


Subj. 要 ⋯⋯ ,⋯⋯

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

Negative Form

意思接近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.

See also

Sources and further reading