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The Different Ways to Say “BECAUSE” and “SO” in Chinese

You may be looking for a way to say “Because” or “So” in Mandarin Chinese.

Or perhaps, you have learned how to say “Because” (“因为” yīnwèi), and “So” (“所以” suǒyǐ), but you still want to find other more interesting ways to express these words.

Or maybe, you already understand how to use “因为”, “由于”(yóuyú), “所以”, “因此”(yīncǐ), or “因而”(yīn’ér) separately, but you haven’t thought twice about what makes each of them different. Thus, in this article, we will give you a simple and clear chart that presents a detailed explanation for these words so that you can better understand how to use them properly.

“Because” in Chinese

  因为 由于
Part of speech Conjunction Conjunction
Meaning Usually used to give the reason. Usually used to give the reason.
Usage 1.   Can be used with “所以”, but cannot be used with “因此”, “因而”.

2.   Usually used before the first clause to tell the reason, but sometimes can be used with the  structure “是因为” to lead to the reason after the result in the next clause.

3.   Often used in oral form.

1.   Can be used with “所以”, “因此”, “因而”.

2.   “由于” can only be used before the first clause, and can’t be used in the next clause.

3.   Often used in written form.

Example 1.   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 is a traffic jam.


(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

  所以 因此 因而
Part of speech Conjunction Conjunction Conjunction
Meaning To lead to the result. It means “because of that, so”, to refer to the reason shown before, and at the same time to lead to the result. It stresses the result that is caused by the reason shown before. It means the result is inferred from the reason before. It stresses that the result is speculated as coming from that reason.
Usage 1.   Generally  used to connect sentences.

2.   Usually a comma is not used to separate from the next words.

3.   Often used in the structure “ 因为/由于……所以……”, but it can also be used alone.

1.   Generally used to connect sentences or paragraphs.

2.   Can use a comma to separate it from the next words, or not.

3.   Can be used with “由于”.

1.   To be used to connect sentences, paragraphs or phrases.

2.   Can use a comma to separate from the next words, or not.

3.   Can be used with with “由于”.

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.



((yóuyú) tā de xiǎoshuō fēichánɡ jīnɡcǎi, yīncǐ dédào le ɡuǎnɡfàn hǎo pínɡ.)

His novel is very wonderful, so it receives wide praise.


(Tā shuō jīntiān lái, kěshì xiànzài kuài línɡchén le, yīn’ér, tā jīntiān bù kěnénɡ lái le.)

He said he will come today, but it is now almost middle of night, so, it is not possible for him to come today anymore.

With this article and this simple chart, you now know the different ways to say “Because” and “So” in Chinese, and even understand the slight differences between these different words. Try to use them regularly; this will help you master them faster, and will help improve your Chinese language proficiency.

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.

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