Expressing indifference with "jiu"
One of the many uses of 就 (jiù) is to add emphasis to indifference. This is similar to when we say in English "if you want to do it, then just do it!" and swapping out the "do" in that sentence for some other verb.
If you've learned to express "as one likes" with 就, then this pattern should feel familiar. It has a very different tone, however, better suited to higher-level learners.
This structure will usually add emphasis to what are saying, and it often expresses that the speaker has an "I don't care" attitude.
Verb + 就 + Verb
Note that the verb in this pattern is the same one repeating.
- 坏了 就 坏了 ，再 买 新的 。If it's broken, leave it there. We can buy a new one.
- 走 就 走 ，我 早就 不 想 干 了 ！Sure, I'll leave. I wanted to quit a long time ago!
- 反对 就 反对 ，我 不 在乎 。If they oppose it, let them oppose it. I don't care.
- 赌 就 赌 ，谁 怕 谁 ？If you want to take a bet, let's take a bet. You think you scare me?
- 离婚 就 离婚 ，我 早就 想 离 了 ！If you want to get a divorce, let's do it. I wanted to do this a long time ago!
不 + Adj. / Verb + 就 + 不 + Adj. / Verb
The 不 in this pattern can also be replaced with 没.
- 她 不 高兴 就 不 高兴 ，不 是 我 的 错 。If she's unhappy, she's unhappy. It's not like it's my fault.
- 不 吃 就 不 吃 ，你 以为 我 很 想 吃 啊 ？I'm fine with not eating. You think I really want to eat?
- 不 帮 就 不 帮 ，我 又 不 是 只有 你 一 个 朋友 ！Fine, don't help if you don't want to. You're not the only friend that I've got.
- 你们 不 懂 就 不 懂 ，我 说 那么 多 也 没 用 。You just really don't get it. There's no point in me explaining so much.
- 他 没 来 就 没 来 ，我 一个人 可以 搞定 。It's fine that he didn't show up. I can handle it by myself.
- Comparing "cai" and "jiu"
- Events in quick succession with "yi... jiu"
- Expressing earliness with "jiu"
- Limiting scope with "jiu"
- "If…, then…" with "ruguo…, jiu…"
Sources and further reading
- 现代汉语八百词 (pp. 316-317) 卓越汉语－公司实战篇 →buy