City University of Hong Kong CLASS CLASS
Making Sense of Grammar
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Is there a difference between the sentences 怎麼就來了三個人 and 怎麼才來了三個人?
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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Yes. The sentence "怎麼就來了三個人" only focuses on the small number of people by using the adverbial jiù (就). It is unmarked (there is no presupposition encoded in the sentence).
The sentence "怎麼才來了三個人" is counter expectational by using the adverbial cái (才). It is marked (the presupposition is implied by the adverb

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