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I am familiar with the sentence structure "因为。。。所以。。。", but what is the correct way to say "I am [doing something] because [reason]"?

For example, "I am asking this question because I am clueless."

Does "因为。。。所以。。。" still apply in this case?

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Not related to your question, but it might be a good idea to not use Chinese fullstops for your ellipsis. Have a look at the Chinese Wikipedia article for ellipsis, which describes methods to type out the ellipsis using various IMEs –  Yi Jiang 易江 Dec 17 '11 at 16:47
    
@YiJiang易江: It's difficult for me to understand, but I have a Croatian layout, with SCIM on Linux, they probably haven't covered that.. I've seen only SHIFT+6 there, for me that only gives an ampersand. –  dr Hannibal Lecter Dec 17 '11 at 17:07
    
To keep the Chinese translation in the same order as the English equivalent, you could say "之所以我现在正在做.. 是因为..." –  Flake Dec 17 '11 at 18:40
    
@Flake: Great, please add an it as an alternative in the answers, it's more prominent and you'll get some upvotes ;) My grammar book says 之 is optional, is that correct? –  dr Hannibal Lecter Dec 17 '11 at 19:10
    
@drHannibalLecter Done that. Added few more things. –  Flake Dec 17 '11 at 19:48
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3 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

To answer the question:

English phrase

"I am [doing something] because [reason]"

has Chines equivalent, which preserves the same sentence order, as:

"之所以我现在正在做.. 是因为..."

Though, I am not sure if 所以我在做.. 是因为 is wrong, the in this sentence is not really optional, i.e. saying 之所以我在做.. 是因为 is much more natural than 所以我在做.. 是因为, at least to me.

But normally, I would say

"我现在正在做.. 是因为..."

Or, to add blaming emotion into the sentence:

"我现在正在做.. 还不是因为..."

E.g.

"我现在正在写报告, 还不是因为你忘了提前告诉我."

=

"I am still writing the report, because you forgot to tell me earlier!"

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I'm a bit confused about the 还不是 part, how does it translate to English? –  dr Hannibal Lecter Dec 17 '11 at 20:55
    
Wow, just realized this part is really not that easy to explain in English. I will post a question for this when I have the time. ;) For now, FYI, this part is oral Chinese, somewhat not that standard, but as I know, quite common and nature. –  Flake Dec 17 '11 at 23:50
    
Please do! Thanks! –  dr Hannibal Lecter Dec 17 '11 at 23:56
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I think “因为。。。所以。。。” still applies in this case. Or you could say “我。。。是因为。。。”

For example:

我吃蛋糕是因为我饿了。= I am eating the cake because I am hungry.
Wǒ chī dàn gāo shì yīn wèi wǒ è le

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I added the pinyin, but I'm not 100% sure it's correct. I used the dictionary so hopefully it is... :) –  Alenanno Dec 17 '11 at 15:24
    
Thanks for the editing Alenanno. The pinyin you added is totally correct. –  Bruce Li Dec 17 '11 at 15:27
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As long as there is a cause and effect logic in the sentence, "因为...所以..." applies. Therefore, the below situations all mean "因为...所以..."

A because B

B, therefore/hence/so, A

B causes/contributes to/leads to A

etc...

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