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yào shi
conj. if
Discussion of 要是
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要是 indicates supportive relations. It is used in the first clause to indicate a supposition, and in the second clause we use the adverb 就 to point out the result produced from the supposition. 就 must appear after the subject and before the predicate of the clause (if there is a subject). For example:
Example 1. 明天要是不下雨,我就去打篮球。 [phr] I will go to play basketball, if it doesn't rain tomorrow.
Sometimes 就 can be omitted. For example:
Example 2. 要是你不满意,可以随时退货。 [phr] If you're not satisfied, you can return the goods at any time.
要是 can also be omitted. For example:
Example 3.想创新,就得打破常规。[phr] Breaking free from convention is a must for innovation.
There are other conjunctions used in the same way as 要是, for example, 如果、假如、假使. The difference is that 要是 is mostly used in speaking, 如果 can be used both in speaking and writing. Being more formal, 假如 and 假使 are both used in writing.
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