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bú shì ...jiù shì ...
phr. either...or...
Discussion of 不是...就是...
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This structure indicates the meaning of being one or the either. The order of appearance of these two words is fixed: 不是 is always in the first clause, and 就是 is always in the second one. Neither one can be omitted from the structure. For example:
Example 1a. 我明天不是去爬山,就是去游泳。 [phr] I will either go climb the mountains or go swim tomorrow.
Example 2a. 不是他来问你,就是你去问他。 [phr] It's either he comes ask you, or you go ask him.
The clauses introduced by 不是 and 就是can be exchanged and it have no effect on the meaning of the whole sentence. We can change Example 1a and 2a to 1b and 2b below:
Example 1b. 我明天不是去游泳,就是去爬山。 [phr] I will either go swim or go climb the mountains tomorrow.
Example 2b. 不是你去问他,就是他来问你。 [phr] It's either you go ask him, or he comes ask you.
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