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How to use ‘shao bu liao’ in Chinese

Chinese words, learning Chinese, Chinese grammar

Sometimes in English, we have "you won't see one without the other." In Chinese, the same sort of idea can be achieved using "少不了" (shǎobùliǎo). It means that if there is one thing, then there is going to be another something along with it.

英语里我们有时会说"you won't see one without the other",中文里,相同的意思可以用"少不了"表达。它的意思是"如果有那么一件事,那肯定会有另一件事随之而来"。

 

The structure of this grammar point is pretty simple. The noun before "少不了" is sort of the "main" noun and the second noun is the one that tags along as a result.

这个语法点的结构很简单,"少不了"之前的名词有点像是主要的名词而第二个名词紧跟其后表示结果。

 

Phrase 1, 少不了 + Phrase 2

 

Examples

 

过年总少不了大鱼大肉。

guò nián zǒng shǎo bù liǎo dà yú dà ròu.

There's always a big meal when we celebrate the Chinese New Year.

 

他喜欢吃醋,每顿饭总少不了一碗醋。

tā xǐ huān chī cù, měi dùn fàn zǒng shǎo bù liǎo yī wǎn cù.

He likes to eat vinegar, there's a bowl of vinegar at every meal.

 

学中文少不了要学拼音和声调。

xué zhōng wén shǎo bù liǎo yào xué pīn yīn hé shēng diào.

Studying Chinese always involves studying pinyin and tones.

 

从中国回去一定少不了要带点中国特产。

cóng zhōng guó huí qù yī dìng shǎo bù liǎo yào dài diǎn zhōng guó tè chǎn.

When you return from China, you will definitely have to bring back some distinctly Chinese products.

 

过生日总少不了生日礼物。

guò shēng rì zǒng shǎo bù liǎo shēng rì lǐ wù.

There are always birthday gifts when we spend birthdays.

 

Relating events

 

Sometimes, the two things that "少不了" connects aren't objects. Instead they can be events. This construction is often based off of observations or experiences that the speaker has had, so that they can know what situations relate to each other. It is often used together with "".

有时,"少不了"连接的两个事物不是物体,它们可以是事件。这个结构经常是基于说话者的观察或经历从而得知相互关联的事件。它常常会连用"又"字。

 

Situation 1 + 少不了 + (又) + Situation 2

 

Note, that in this construction, the reason follows "少不了"

注意,在这个结构里,原因是跟在"少不了"之后的。

 

Examples

 

八点多了还没回来,少不了又在加班。

bā diǎn duō le hái méi huí lái, shǎo bù liǎo yòu zài jiā bān.

It's past 8 o'clock he still hasn't come back. He must be working overtime.

 

看他的样子,少不了又跟女朋友吵架了。

kàn tā de yàng zǐ, shǎo bù liǎo yòu gēn nǚ péng yǒu chǎo jià le.

Look at how he looks. He must have argued with his girlfriend.

 

这么闷热,少不了要下暴雨。

zhè me mèn rè, shǎo bù liǎo yào xià bào yǔ.

It's so stuffy. It must be about to storm.

 

今年少不了是个丰收年。

jīn nián shǎo bù liǎo shì gè fēng shōu nián.

There's going to be a bumper crop this year.

Translated from: allsetlearning

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2016-06-21

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