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Level 3 Lesson 38.2 – 只有工资水平提高了,生活水平才会跟着提高。

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GRAMMAR: Adverb 才 In Structure 只有……,才……

In this HSK 3 video lesson we'll learn a new structure with Adverb 才, "只有……,才……", indicating "only when...., then..."

  • Structure 只有……,才…… (zhǐyǒu......, cái...... ▸ only with the condition that..., then... )
  • 才 used by itself
    • followed by the result of a mentioned “one and only” condition
    • followed by the result of a mentioned “one and only” condition in Compressed/Contracted Sentences



Grammar 1. 只有……,才……

zhǐyǒu......, cái...... ▸ only when..., then...

In Lesson 37, we learned that 才's first usage, and today we'll learn another usage of 才.

  See also 才 (cái ▸ adv. of Time, indicating an action or event happens or ends late; “as late as”).

In today's lesson, 才 is used together with 只有, following this structure:


For example,

  • Zhǐyǒu nǐ kāixīn, wǒ cái kāixīn.
    Only-with-the-condition(-that) you (are) happy, I “then” (am) happy.
  • Zhǐyǒu bàn hǎo le qiānzhèng, nǐ cái néng chūguó.
    Only-with-the-condition(-that) (you) handle-well (the) visa, you “then” can go-abroad.
  • Zhǐyǒu shēngbìng le, cái zhīdào jiànkāng yǒu duō zhòngyào.
    Only-with-the-condition(-that) (one) gets-sick, “then” (they) know how important health is.


Grammar 2. 才

cái ▸ used by itself followed by the result of a mentioned “one and only” condition

Adverb 才 can also be used by itself without 只有. We can used 才 by placing it in front of a previously mentioned "one and only" condition.

When 才 is used by itself, it can be used 1) in a regular sentence 2) in a Compressed/Contracted Sentences. We'll look at the two situations one by one.

  See also 紧缩句 (Jǐnsuōjù▸ Compressed Sentences; Contracted Sentences).

(1) 才 used by itself in a regular sentence

  • Nǐ bìxū xiān bǎ qíngkuàng gàosu wǒmen, wǒmen cái zhīdào fāshēng le shénme ’a!
    You must first (-) “ba”{indicating the handling of} (the) situation tell us (-) we “(only with that condition-)then” know (there) happened what!
  • Jiù shì yīnwèi lí bu kāi zhè xiē xuésheng, wǒ cái dāng le zhème jiǔ lǎoshī.
    (It) “exactly” “is because” because (I do) not-have-the-potential-to-be-able-to leave these students, I “only with that condition-) then” (have) been (a) teacher (for) this long.

(2)  才 used by itself in a Compressed/Contracted Sentence

  • Bǎ kōngtiáo dǎkāi cái shūfu ’a!
    “Ba” (the) air-conditioner (-) turn-on “(and only with that condition-)then” (it is) comfortable!
  • Zuòyè zuò wán cái néng wánr diànnǎo.
    (The) homework (is) finished-doing “(and only with that condition-)then” (you) can play (the) computer.
  • Yǒu piào cái néng jìn qu.
    (You) have (the) ticket “(and only with that condition-)then” (you) can go-in.


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