How to use “Once …” sentence pattern in Chinese

“Once he started, he can’t stop.”

Sometimes, you really need that particular sentence pattern to express your thoughts exactly the way you want.

Luckily for most of the sentence patterns in English, you can find their equivalent patterns in Chinese.

Today we’ll learn one. The exact counterpart of “Once …” pattern in Chinese is “ 一旦… … (yīdàn … jiù) “.

Let’s review new words first (very few).

yīdàn huì
一旦 (once) (rain)  (can, will)


“ 一旦” comes from classic Chinese literature, it means “once”. “” means “then” in this sentence pattern. (Click here for more usages of “就”).

Now let’s translate the example at the very beginning of this lesson into Chinese:

yīdàn tā kāishǐ le, jiù bùhuì tíng le.


Once he started, he can’t stop.


You can add “他”at the beginning of the second sentence as well.

yīdàn tā kāishǐ le, tā jiù bùhuì tíng le.


Once he started, he can’t stop.


Remember, in the second sentence, only “who” can be placed before “”. Anything else, including the verb has to follow “”.

However, sometimes, “” is not necessary, having it in the sentence or not doesn’t make any difference.

yīdàn tā zhīdàole, tā huì hěn gāoxìng de.


Once she knew, she will be very happy.

Are you clear now? If you’re not sure, let me give you a little quiz. Please use “一旦” sentence pattern to express the following sentence. Use the new word table to help you construct this sentence if you need:

Once it rained, it won’t stop.


… how well did you do? I’ll show the answer here …

yīdàn xiàyǔ, jiù bùhuì tíng.


Once she knows, she’ll be very happy.

Did you get it?

Now let me wish each one of you a beautiful summer week!

Welcome to have my face to face lesson on  !  🙂



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