The structure 起初…才…
"First... and then..."
The structure emphasizes that a situation has changed. The initial situation is placed in the first part of a sentence, and the new situation is placed in the second part of a sentence.
initial situation
new situation
A subject can be placed before or after 起初. If the subject is placed in the second part of a sentence, it must come before 才. It cannot be placed after 才.
He didn't understand the rules of the game at first, but later he understood them
tā qǐchū méi míngbai, hòulái cái lǐjiěle yóuxì de guīzé
Initially, we didn't want to participate in it. However, we went there because we were embarrassed to turn it down
wǒmen qǐchū bù xiǎng cānjiā de, zhǐshì bù hǎoyìsi jùjué, cái qù le nàli
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