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Lesson 20 How to use “Once …” sentence pattern in Chinese

Posted by Grace Feng on May 14, 2012

How to use “Once ...” sentence pattern in Chinese?“Once he started, he can’t stop.”

Sometimes, you really need that particular sentence pattern to express your thoughts exactly the way you want.

Luckily for most of the sentence patterns in English, you can find their equivalent patterns in Chinese.

Today we’ll learn one. The exact counterpart of “Once …” pattern in Chinese is “ 一旦… 就… (yīdàn … jiù) “.

Let’s review new words first (very few). Please use the estroke tool below the table to practice writing of the new characters.

yīdàn huì
[hanzi]一旦[/hanzi] (once) [hanzi][/hanzi] (rain) [hanzi][/hanzi] (can, will)
tíng
[hanzi][/hanzi] (stop)

 

  • You can copy and paste a few characters together into the box. They’ll show in the animation window one by one.
  • Once the stroke animation stops, click in the animation window and hit ENTER to replay it.
  • You can use the sliding bar to control writing speed of the animation.

 

一旦” comes from classic Chinese literature, it means “once”. “” means “then” in this sentence pattern. (Click here for more usages of “).

Now let’s translate the example at the very beginning of this lesson into Chinese:

yīdàn tā kāishǐ le, jiù bùhuì tíng le.

一旦他开始了, 就不会停了.

Once he started, he can’t stop.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

 

You can add “他”at the beginning of the second sentence as well.

yīdàn tā kāishǐ le, tā jiù bùhuì tíng le.

一旦他开始了, 他就不会停了.

Once he started, he can’t stop.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

 

Remember, in the second sentence, only “who” can be placed before “”. Anything else, including the verb has to follow “”.

However, sometimes, “” is not necessary, having it in the sentence or not doesn’t make any difference.

yīdàn tā zhīdàole, tā huì hěn gāoxìng de.

一旦她知道了, 她会很高兴的.

Once she knew, she will be very happy.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Are you clear now? If you’re not sure, let me give you a little quiz. Please use “一旦” sentence pattern to express the following sentence. Use the new word table to help you construct this sentence if you need:

Once it rained, it won’t stop.

 

 

… how well did you do? I’ll show the answer here …

yīdàn xiàyǔ, jiù bùhuì tíng.

一旦下雨, 就不会停.

Once she knows, she’ll be very happy.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Did you get it?

Now let me wish each one of you a beautiful summer week!

 

 

Related posts:

Lesson 4 How to ask questions in Chinese (1)
Reading, Listening and Speaking practice 10
Reading, Listening and Speaking practice 14

 

Category: JLC Chinese grammar lessons

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3 Responses to “Lesson 20 How to use “Once …” sentence pattern in Chinese”

  1. nothing

    Beatrice:

    10-30-2013 11:43 am

    一旦他她看见她的男朋友,就会哭。Once she saw her boyfriend, she will cry.
    Is it correct?
    Thanks for your lessons!

    Reply

    • nothing

      Grace Feng:

      10-30-2013 12:53 pm

      other than the small typo, (extra 他), it’s correct:

      一旦她看见她的男朋友,就会哭。

      Without context, it makes me wonder why seeing her boyfriend make her cry. I hope it’s out of love, not of scare. lol

      Reply

  2. nothing

    Beatrice:

    10-31-2013 2:57 pm

    ahaha I was thinking about distance relationships, something very common for those people who studies languages

    Reply

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