I have been revising HSK 3 grammar, and came across these two alternatives:

  • 我妈妈一起床,就做早饭
  • 我妈妈起了床,就做早饭

On the basis that my book says that they both mean 'My mum makes breakfast as soon as she wakes up', is there any inherent difference between the two?

once A done, B right away

It has the meaning of doing B 'as soon as' A done.

after A done, then B

It emphasizes more on "doing B, but not C or D" after A done.

  • Ah okay - so 一...就... has more time pressure to it. ...了,就... is more like 先..., 然后... ??
    – Hashamyim
    Feb 20 '19 at 14:39
  • Correct. You can consider '一' contains meaning of '一旦'(once) here.
    – Karata
    Feb 20 '19 at 14:47

The other answer is correct. I'd like to add that 我妈妈一起床,就做早饭 states the routine work, meaning my mum makes breakfast as soon as she wakes up.

我妈妈起了床,就做早饭 is more like a conditional sentence, meaning If my mum gets up, then the first thing she would do is make breakfast. In practice, you would hear 我妈妈起了床,(第一件事情)就(是)做早饭.


就 must be treated as "AND" with connotation of "already". Mind you, there are many kind of "and"s in chinese, and 就 is one of them.



must be trasnalted as "Once[一] A and[就] (there already be) B"

Now, 了 is a factuality marker (realis mode marker), that is "A了" means A was/is/will be reality.



must be trasnalted as "A was/is/willbe true and[就] (there already be) B

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