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Word order of Chinese "Conjugations" such as 如果,要是,虽然


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Sometimes in Chinese class, I have an exercise where I need to put characters (words) in order to make a correct sentence. (there is also an exercise like this in the new HSK exam).

A simple example would be:

1. 妈妈    2. 中国人    3. 是  4. 的  5. 我

So what would be the correct sentence here? Of course it would be 我的妈妈是中国人。

This was easy of course. But now, if you get much longer and more difficult sentences it can get really tricky. as in the HSK exam a lot of times the sentences contain conjunctions, I would really like to know if there is a rule about the word order of conjunctions in Chinese. Maybe some of them can just be placed at the beginning or the end? If there are rules like this, it would be much easier for me to solve those kind of exercices  :grin: :wacky:

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If there are rules like this, it would be much easier for me to solve those kind of exercices  :grin: :wacky:

Hi Michael

There are indeed some rules and as far as I know the conjunctions can be split up in three different categories (concerning the word order).

First of all, there are conjunctions that can be used as antecedent (first part of the sentence) or consequent (second part of the sentence)

Those conjunctions that can stand in the first part of the sentence but also after the commata, are what we would call here the first category of one-place conjunctions. Examples for the type 1 are 如果,虽然 and 要是。

sample sentence:

因为今天我不工作,我们想去看电视。OR 我们想去看电视,因为今天我不工作。

Then there is the second category of conjunctions (type 2) and they can only be placed in the beginning of the sentence (antecedent).

In this category you have the conjunction 由于 (if you know more, please let me know!)

sample sentence: 由于我今天不工作,我在家看电视。

Then there is also a third category of conjunctions, including the chinese conjunctions 可是,但是,此外,以及 and 为的是。

Those chinese conjunctions can only be placed in the consequent part of the sentence (after the commata in the second part of the sentence)

sample sentences:

她会说法语,但是她太懒了。

Please note that I have just been talking here about "one-place"-conjunctions. :ninja:

Generally speaking, the conjunctions mentioned above, when used in the first part of the sentence, then they are usually in the first position of the sentence. If the subject of the sentence is changing (first part of sentence has a different subject than the second part after the commata), then the conjunction can also be in the second position.

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