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yú shì
conj. so, hence, then, as a result, subsequently
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于是 is a conjunction meaning “so, hence, then”. It seems that it has the same meaning as 所以 and 因此, but in fact this is not the case.

1. 于是 indicates that one event or action happens right after another event or action. It connects the cause and the effect. For example:
E.g. 早上醒来的时候我觉得有点不舒服,于是就去了医院。 [phr] I was not feeling very well after waking up and so I went to hospital.
E.g. 我有事想问他,于是给他打了电话。 [phr] I have something to ask him, so I called him.

2. 因此 and 所以 are both used to explain a reason (these two have differences too, check out their notes).
lisaC
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所以 vs 于是:

1. "A,所以B": A is simply the reason of B.
E.g. 独角兽不存在,所以你别幻想了。 Unicorns don't exist, so stop daydreaming (about it).
In this example above, we cannot use 于是, because there is no succeeding and subsequent events involved.

2. "A,于是B": B is an action/event that succeeds A; A happens first, then B happens as a result.
In these examples below, there is always an event that happens in the first place, then 于是 connects the subsequent action/event:

学校离机场非常远,于是我只好坐出租车去。 [phr] The school was very far away from the airport, so I had to take a taxi.
他失业了,于是对生活很失望。 [phr] He lost his job, so he felt disappointed with life.
早上醒来的时候我觉得有点不舒服,于是就去了医院。 [phr] I was not feeling very well after waking up and so I went to hospital.
我有事想问他,于是给他打了电话。 [phr] I have something to ask him, so I called him.
我给她买了好吃的东西,于是她不哭了。 [phr] I bought something good to eat for her, therefore, she stopped crying.
lisaC
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About 从而,于是,因而,因此,所以 (and 然而):

1. 从而 (conj) indicates result or further action. 从而 is used at the beginning of the second clause of a sentence, and the subject of the second clause is the same as the first clause. 从而 is used in formal written Chinese. 从而 cannot be used behind a subject.
Example: 他及时踩刹车,从而避免了危险。 r/s [phr] He stepped on the brake in time, thus avoided the danger.

2. 于是 (conj) indicates that one event or action happens right after another event or action. It connects the cause and the effect. 于是 can be used after a subject. In this example below, we can also say “…, 她于是不哭了。”
Example: 我给她买了好吃的东西,于是她不哭了。 [phr] I bought something good to eat for her, therefore, she stopped crying.

3. 所以 (conj) indicates result. can be paired with 因为 or 由于 to form fixed structures. 所以 can be used between the subject and the predicate. But 因此 cannot be used in this way.
Examples:
- 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.
- 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.

4. 因此 (conj) indicates the result from the reason mentioned in the previous clause. 此 in 因此means “this”, and it specifically refers back to the first clause of the sentence. 因此can be paired with 由于 and form a fixed structure. 因此 is very similar to 所以, but please check out notes under 因此 or 所以 for their differences.
由于……,因此……。

5. 因而 and 因此 are basically used in the same way.

6. 然而 (conj) means “however”. 然而 is something totally different from all the other words mentioned in this post and we do not consider 然而 as a comparable synonym to the other words.
lisaC
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