City University of Hong Kong CLASS CLASS
Making Sense of Grammar
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asked Jun 10 in Questions about Chinese Grammar by Ariel (31,850 points) | 12 views

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‘cái’ signals necessary condition, while ‘jiù’ signals sufficient condition, for instance:

1a. 天气转晴,我们就到海边去烤肉。

Tiānqì zhuǎnqíngwǒmen jiù dào hǎibiān qù kǎoròu.

(As soon as the weather turns clear, we’ll go to the seashore to have a barbecue.

1b. 多说、多练,才能说得好中文。

Duō shuō, duō liàncáinéng shuōde hǎo Zhōngwén.

(You can learn to speak Chinese well only by speaking more and practicing more.)

In (1a) the event of ‘going to the seaside for a barbecue’ is contingent on the weather turning clear’. In (1b), achieving the result of speaking Chinese well is conditioned on ‘speaking more and practicing more’. The difference between (1a) and (1b) is that ‘cái’ indicates necessary condition while ‘jiù’ indicates sufficient condition.

[1] Loar, J. K. (2011). Chinese syntactic grammar: functional and conceptual principles. New York: Peter Lang.
answered Jun 10 by Ariel (31,850 points)

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1,392 questions
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9,541 users