City University of Hong Kong CLASS CLASS
Making Sense of Grammar
+1 vote
Why is 我馬上就出發 acceptable, while *我馬上才出發 is not?
asked Mar 29, 2018 in Questions about Chinese Grammar by admin (23,690 points)
edited Apr 26, 2018 by admin

1 Answer

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jiù (就) in the sentence "我馬上就出發" signals the imminence of an activity and it is compatible with 馬上 (mǎ shàng/ right away); cái (才) in the sentence "我馬上才出發" marks a sense of lateness and it conflicts with 馬上 (mǎ shàng/ right away). Hence it is not acceptable.

answered Mar 29, 2018 by admin (23,690 points)
edited Apr 26, 2018 by admin
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