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只要 means "only if ~" or "as long as ~", and is usually used with 相呼应, such as 就 or 便 in the main clause. At least it is different from 只有, which is used with 才 or 方. But I don't understand which 相呼应 to use for 只要.

So my questions are:

  • Are there any other 相呼应 for 只要 other than 就 and 便?

  • How should I choose which 相呼应 to use?

  • 只要 and 相呼应 are not usually used together, actually, '相呼应' is a very literary term . It is rarely used colloquially. However, "互相呼应" is more commonly used – Tang Ho Apr 30 '18 at 6:58
  • I think he means that "就" and "要" are the two "相呼应"s for "只要". – fefe Apr 30 '18 at 7:05
  • @fefe Yes that is correct. (就 and 便). Feel free to edit it if it is confusing. – Blaszard Apr 30 '18 at 7:09
  • I thought that is "corresponding conjunctions" ( 相应连词) – Tang Ho Apr 30 '18 at 7:11
  • only if (=只有)≠ as long as (只要)see chinese.stackexchange.com/questions/17400/… – user6065 Apr 30 '18 at 8:56
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只要 indicates a sufficient condition, i.e. "只要A就B" means "A => B", "The fact A guarantees the fact B". 就 or 便 usually gives a sense that something is simpler than one expects, so such adverbs match with 只要.

只要你努力,你就会成功。

You will (simply) succeed as long as you work hard.

只有 indicates a necessary condition, i.e. "只有A才B" means "A <= B", "Condition A is mandatory for B to be present". 方 or 才 usually gives a sense that something is more difficult than expected, or some scenario requires more conditions than expected to achieve, so these adverbs match with 只有.

你只有努力,才会成功。

You can only succeed if you work hard.

In other usages of 就 and 才, they play similar roles, i.e. giving optimistic/pessimistic senses.

我老公昨天三点就回来了。

It was only 3 p.m. that my husband came home yesterday. (I didn't expect him to come home so early, but he did).

我老公昨天九点才回来。

It was not until 9 p.m. that my husband came home yesterday. (I expected him to come home earlier, but he just kept me waiting).

In English it doesn't require an adverb to complete a sentence with a conditional clause; but in Chinese, without an appropriate adverb like 才 or 就, the sentence will sound incomplete. Since these words are required to form a sentense, your grammar book may suggest they are conjunctions/连词, but I think in fact they are adverbs/副词.

Among them, 才 and 就 are more common in everyday use, while 便 and 方 may sound too formal. Other possibilities are rare as far as I can think of. I would suggest that you only memorize these two patterns: "只要……就……" and "只有……才……", for these two appear in our primary school textbooks as well.

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Question is somewhat unclear. 只要 。。。。就/便 If ..... then (this is a [condition ... result] sentence: If condition = true, then RESULT)

只要 你不再调皮,我 就 给你买冰淇淋。 只要 我考试考满分, 我爸妈便带我去旅游。

我只要吃一个冰淇淋。I just want an ice cream. 只要 ≠ if, only if

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