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Introducing the use of adverbs “才” and “就”

In this video, Dr Li will introduce the use of adverbs “才” and “就”.
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Xīxī zhè běn shū wǒ yě kàn guò . zhè běn shū hěn yǒuqùwǒ yìtiān jiù kànwán le .
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À wǒ yíge yuè cái kànwán . There are two new words in this dialogue jiùand cái. We are going to learn about how to use these adverbs. First, jiù. Xīxī finished reading a book in one day. Xīxī yìtiān kànwán yìběn shū .
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This is quicker than expected.
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In order to emphasise somebody finished doing something quickly, or in a short time, we can put jiù before the verb. Our example is, Xīxī yìtiān jiù kànwán yìběn shū le.
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Notice that we usually use the le at the end of the sentence when we use jiù. The sentence structure is subject plus measured word plus jiù plus verb plus le This structure can also emphasise somebody finished doing something earlier than expected. For example, Xīxī jīntiān zǎoshang liùdiǎn jiù qǐchuáng le .
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cái can express the opposite. Wáng Xiǎobǎo yígè yuè cái kànwán yìběn shū.
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This is slower than expected.
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We put cái before the verb to indicate, Wang Xiaobao finished reading more slowly than one would think. Similarly, Wáng Xiǎobǎo jīntiān zǎoshang jiǔdiǎn cái qǐchuáng.
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means Wáng Xiǎobǎo got up later than expected.
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The sentence structure is a rather simple– subject plus measure word plus cái plus verb. Now, choose jiù or cái to complete the sentences. Bā diǎn shàng kè David qī diǎn bàn dào jiàoshì.
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David gets to the classroom early. So the answer is jiù Bā diǎn shàng kè Ān nà bā diǎn bàn dào jiàoshì.
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She is late, so we use cái So jiù usually indicates something is done early and quickly, while cái usually indicates something is done late or slowly. Now, let’s listen to a dialogue to end the lesson. Jīntiān shì xīngqītiān,wǒ shídiǎn cái qǐchuáng,nǐ ne Wǒ jīntiān yào qù túshūguǎn. qīdiǎn jiù qǐchuáng le.
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Túshūguǎn lí nǐ jiā yuǎn ma Hěnyuǎnzuò dìtiě yígè xiǎoshí cái néng dào .
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Òzhēn de hěn yuǎn. Túshūguǎn lí wǒ jiā bù yuǎn. qíchē shíwǔ fènzhōng jiù dào le .
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Àtài fāngbiàn le

In this video we discuss the usage of adverbs “就jiù” and “才cái”.

“就jiù” usually indicates something is done early or quickly, while “才cái” usually indicates something is done late or slowly.

  • subject + measure word + 就(jiù)+ verb +了

We put “就” before the verb to emphasize somebody finished doing something quickly than expected or in a short time. Please notice that “quickly than expected or in a short time” is the speaker’s subjective view. For example:

西西一天就看完一本书了。

Xīxi yītiān jiù kànwán yīběn shū le.

If the speaker thought it would be quick or in a short time to finish a book in only one day,he could add “就”before the verb. Notice that we always use “了”at the end of the sentence when we use “就”. Similarly,this structure can also emphasize somebody finished doing something earlier than expected,for example:

我今天早上六点就起床了。Wǒ jīntiān zǎoshàng liùdiǎn jiù qǐchuáng le.

  • subject + measure word +才 (cái)+ verb

“才” can express the opposite. We put “才” before the verb to emphasize somebody finished doing something slowly than one would think.

王小宝一个月才读完一本书。

Similarly,“王小宝今天早上九点才起床。Wáng xiǎobǎo jīntiān zǎoshàng jiǔdiǎn cái qǐchuáng. ” Means Wang xiaobao got up later than expected.

The following is Chinese and English Version of Situational Dialogue in the Video:

西西:今天是星期天,我十点才起床,你呢?

王小宝:我今天要去图书馆,七点就起床了。

西西:图书馆离你家远吗?

王小宝:很远,坐地铁一个小时才能到。

西西:哦,真的很远。图书馆离我家不远,骑车十五分钟就到了。

王小宝:啊,太方便了!

Xīxi:Today is Sunday. I don’t get up until ten o’clock, and you?

Wáng xiǎobǎo:I got up at seven o’clock because I’m going to the library.

Xīxi:Is the library far from your home?

Wáng xiǎobǎo:It’s a far from my home, about an hour’s subway.

Xīxi:Oh, it’s really far away. The library is near my home, about fifteen minutes’ bike.

Wáng xiǎobǎo:Ah, it’s so convenient!

© Shanghai International Studies University

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