My book says the 有 … 才有 structure is the same as 只有 … 才, but it doesn't give me any examples.

Are the following both equivalent and correct?



If not, how should I use 有 … 才有 and what does it mean?

3 Answers 3


They both mean the first part is the necessary (under many situations, also sufficient) condition of the second part.

有A才有B means only if A exists, then B exists. Here 有 has real meaning.

只有A才B means only if A then B. Here 有 does not have its real meaning, but is part of the conjunction.


有国才有家 (Only if the nation exists, does family exist)

只有有国,才会有家 (same meaning, grammatically correct, but rarely seen)

只有国,才有家 (wrong)


B's existence=true when A's existence=true,here 有 works as "existence"
B=true when A=true,here 只有 works as whole, means "only when"
The difference is : 有A才有B focus on "existence" while 只有A才B is not(Although you can add existence as a condition)
existence of (fish) =true when existence of (water) =true.
existence(condition)=水 existence(result)=鱼
(existence of fish)=ture when (existence of water)=true.
condition=有水=existence of water, result=有鱼=existence of fish


You don't just replace 只有…才… with 有…才有… literally. It doesn't work that way. You could say"只有他才知道怎么解决这个问题" with 只有…才…, and you can also say "有他才有解决这个问题的方法" with 有…才有… It's the same meaning, two different sayings.

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