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所以
suǒ yǐ
conj. so, therefore
Discussion of 所以
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In this post we discuss two conjunction: 所以 and 因此. Both mean “so, therefore”, but they are not entirely the same in terms of collocation.

1. 所以 can be paired with 因为 or 由于 to form such structure
因为……,所以……。 E.g. 因为这是我们的第一节课,所以我不知道你们的名字。 [phr] This is our first lesson, so I don't know your names.
由于……,所以……。E.g. 由于这是我们的第一节课,所以我不知道你们的名字。 [phr] This is our first lesson, so I don't know your names.
因此 can only be paired with 由于 and form this structure: 由于……,因此……。
E.g. 由于他工作认真,因此得到了大家的信任。 [phr] Because he works with a serious attitude, he has won everybody's trust.

2. 所以 can be used between the subject and the predicate. But 因此 cannot be used in this way.
E.g. 他所以取得这么好的成绩,是因为他平时一直都很努力。 [phr] The reason why he achieved such good grades is that he has always worked hard.
lisaC
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The conjunction 所以 is often paired with 因为 in a complex sentence to indicate cause and effect. For example:
Example 1. 因为下雨了,所以我没去跑步。 [phr] Because it rained, I did not go jogging.

It is not necessary that the two appear together in a sentence: 所以 can be used alone at the beginning of the second clause indicating the effect or result (Example 2).
Example 2. 他喜欢自由自在的生活,所以经常一个人去旅游。 [phr] He likes a life of freedom, so he often travels alone.

If we reverse the sequence of the two clauses in the sentence, we can use this structure “(之)所以…,是因为….。”(Example 3)
Example 3. 他(之)所以取得这么好的成绩,是因为他平时一直都很努力。 [phr] The reason why he achieved such good grades is that he has always worked hard.

We can use only 因为 in the second clause indicating the cause (Example 4). In this case 所以 must NOT be used anymore at the beginning of the first clause:
Example 4. 我喜欢夏天,因为我可以在大海里游泳。 [phr] I like summer because I can swim in the sea. (It is wrong to say: *所以我喜欢夏天,因为我可以在大海里游泳。)
lisaC
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