# 不嫁则已

#### sqlines

##### Senior Member
Hi,

What is the meaning of 则已 in 不嫁则已 ?
Thanks.

• #### xiaolijie

##### Senior Member
...则已 = ... is fine, no problems

#### tristen

##### Member
则已，similar to that 不鸣则己
it usually connects with another sentence to make a contrast.
Give you a few examples. Hope you can get it.
她不嫁则己，一嫁就嫁了一个百万富翁 (millionaire)
她不说则己，一说就说了3个小时。
他不吃则己，一吃吃了5块牛排 (steak)

#### sqlines

##### Senior Member
Hi xiaolijie,

Thanks for your response.

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#### DavidCornell

##### Senior Member
则 is similar to "then" in a conditional. 不...则... is thus similar to a negative conditional, i.e. if...not..., then..., 已means "finish, stop". So the construction 不...则已, 一... literally means, "if someone does not do something, then nothing needs to be said (i.e. we can stop there). But once he does something, ..."

I have a more logik-y explanation. So one way of interpreting the meaning of a conditional "if p then q" is that:

(1)In all the situations where p is true, q is true;
(2)In all the situations where p is false, the judgment of q is suspended.

Thus the Chinese 不p则已 corresponds to the second clause; 一p则q corresponds to the first clause. So these two clauses combine to express the meaning of a conditional in a more explicit way.

Hi,

What is the meaning of 则已 in 不嫁则已 ?
Thanks.

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#### sqlines

##### Senior Member
则已，similar to that 不鸣则己
it usually connects with another sentence to make a contrast.
Give you a few examples. Hope you can get it.
她不嫁则己，一嫁就嫁了一个百万富翁 (millionaire)
她不说则己，一说就说了3个小时。
他不吃则己，一吃吃了5块牛排 (steak)

己 = then that is fine
If she does not get married then that is fine, but when she does get married then she married a millionaire (she would marry a millionaire)
If she does not talk then that is fine, but when she does talk then she talked for 3 hours (she would talk for 3 hours)
If he does not eat then that is fine, but when he does eat then he ate 5 pieces of steak (he would eat 5 pieces of steak)

Which is right? The past tense or the conditional.

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#### DavidCornell

##### Senior Member
no, I don't think it means "not making sound is fine". I think it means "if he doesn't speak, then that's it, nothing needs to be said"

Hi xiaolijie,
不鸣则已 would translate into 'not making sound is fine'.

#### DavidCornell

##### Senior Member
Like I said, 则已only has one meaning, "if...then we can stop there". It means "if the condition doesn't hold, then we need not make further comment".

It seems 则己 can have different meanings depending on the context.
She has never been married, but when she did she married a millionaire.
She does not talk much usually, but when she does...
He does not eat no problem, but when he eats...

It seems that 则己 can have any meaning that fits the context.
Very hard to understand.

#### tristen

##### Member
past tense or future tense? Both apply.

#### xiaolijie

##### Senior Member
DavidCornell said:
Like I said, 则已only has one meaning, "if...then we can stop there".
This is correct, and therefore, "finish/ end/ be over..." usuallly means "fine / no problems / no more to be said..."
No need to be too literal.