Skip to content

Mastering the Different Ways to Say “Because” and “So” in Chinese

If you want to say “because” or “so” in Mandarin Chinese, we can help. You might know “because” as “因为” (yīnwèi) and “so” as “所以” (suǒyǐ), but there are other ways to join two related phrases that are more interesting. We created a chart that explains the differences between “因为”, “由于” (yóuyú), “所以”, “因此” (yīncǐ), and “因而” (yīn’ér) so that you can use them correctly.

“Because” in Chinese

Part of speechConjunctionConjunction
MeaningGives the reason for something.Gives the reason for something.
Usage1. Used with “所以”, but not with “因此” or “因而”.
2. Normally comes before the first clause to explain the reason, but can also be used with “是因为” to reveal the reason in the next clause.
3. Commonly used in spoken language.
1. Used  with “所以”, “因此”, or “因而”.
2. Should only be used “由于” before the first clause and not in the second clause.
3. Commonly used in written language.
Example1.   因为今天下雨,所以我没出去跑步。 (Yīnwèi jīntiān xiàyǔ, suǒyǐ wǒ méi chūqu pǎobù.)
Because it’s raining today, I haven’t gone out to run.

2.   他开会迟到了是因为路上堵车了。(Tā kāihuì chídào le shì yīnwèi lùshɑnɡ dǔchē le.)He was late for the meeting because there was a traffic jam.

由于他总是帮助别人,所以/因此/因而受到了大家的尊敬。 (Yóuyú tā zǒnɡshì bānɡzhù biérén, suǒyǐ/yīncǐ/yīn’ér shòudào le dàjiā de zūnjìnɡ.)

Because he helps others, he is respected by everyone.

“So” in Chinese

Part of speechConjunctionConjunctionConjunction
MeaningProvides the result of something.Connects a reason to a result and emphasizes the result.Implies the result of the reason provided in the first phrase. It emphasizes that the result is speculation.
Usage1. We generally use “所以” to connect sentences.
2. Usually, we don’t separate it with a comma.
3. We often use it in the structure “因为/由于……所以……,” but we can also use it alone.
1. We generally use “因此” to connect sentences or paragraphs.
2. We can choose to separate it with a comma or not.
3. We can use it with “由于” (which means “due to”).
1. We use “因而” to connect sentences, paragraphs, or phrases.
2.  We can choose to separate it with a comma or not.
3. We can use it with “由于” (which means “due to”).
Example外面在下雨,所以我们不去逛街了。 (Wàimian zài xiàyǔ, suǒyǐ wǒmen bú qù ɡuànɡjiē le.)

It’s raining outside, so we won’t go shopping.


(由于)他的小说非常精彩,因此得到了广泛好评。 (yóuyú) tā de xiǎoshuō fēichánɡ jīnɡcǎi, yīncǐ dédào le ɡuǎnɡfàn hǎo pínɡ.)

His novel is wonderful, so it received wide praise.

她说今天来,可是现在快凌晨了,因而,她今天不可能来了。 (Tā shuō jīntiān lái, kěshì xiànzài kuài línɡchén le, yīn’ér, tā jīntiān bù kěnénɡ lái le.)

She said she would come today, but now it is nearly midnight, so it is no longer possible for her to come today.

By utilizing these different ways to say “because” and “so” in Chinese, you can enhance your language proficiency and better communicate with native speakers. With the help of this article and the provided chart, you can now confidently navigate and recognize the nuances between these terms. Remember to practice frequently and apply these words in your everyday conversations to become more fluent in Chinese.

Online Chinese Tutors

  • 1:1 online tutoring
  • 100% native professional tutors
  • For all levels
  • Flexible schedule
  • More effective
Learn more
Cecilia He

Cecilia majored in teaching Chinese as a foreign language. She has vast experience in educating her students on how to listen to and speak Chinese, and is trained to teach HSK courses. She has mastered the method and practice of teaching the structure, historical development, and relationships of languages as an academic subject, and has also done extensive research on Intercultural Communication and Sinology.

This Post Has One Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top