The difference between 就 jiù and 才 cái.

The adverb 就 jiù is used before a verb to suggest the earliness, briefness , quickness or sooner than expected of the action. The Adverb 才 cái is the opposite. It suggests the tardiness or lateness of an action as perceived by the speaker.

For example:

1, 八 点  上  课,他七 点 就 来了。
   bā diǎn shàngkè,  tā qī diǎn jiù   lái le.
   Class starts at eight, but he came at seven.

    八   点    上   课,他 八 点  十  分  才来。
    bā diǎn shàng kè,   tā  bā diǎn shí fēn cái lai.
    Class starts at eight, but he did not came until ten past eight.

2, 我 昨 天    晚   上   八 点  就  睡 觉 了。
    wǒ zuótiān wǎnshàng bā diǎn jiù shuìjiào le.  
    I went to sleep when it was only 8:00pm yesterday.

    我 昨 天   晚    上   十 二 点   才  睡 觉。
   wǒ zuótiān wǎnshàng shi èr  dián cái shuìjiào. 
   I did not went to sleep until 12:00pm yesterday.


Please let me know if you have any questions.


(photo credit arwenarts)

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Comment by Brandon on April 16, 2011 at 1:52pm

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