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Expressing "although" with "suiran" and "danshi"

The grammar pattern 虽然⋯⋯ 但是⋯⋯ (suīrán... dànshì...) is one of the most common used patterns in Chinese, especially in written Chinese. You can think of it as meaning "although," but unlike in English, you still need to follow it with a "but" word in Chinese.

Structure

虽然⋯⋯ 但是⋯⋯ expresses that while the former part of the sentence is true, there is an adverse reaction in the latter part.

虽然 ⋯⋯ ,但是 / 可是 ⋯⋯

Simply put, the pattern means, although..., but... In English, you wouldn't normally need the "but" there, but it is required in Chinese. Be aware that 可是 can be used interchangeably with 但是 for the "but" part. Also note that 还是 can be used after 但是 for emphasis, meaning "still."

Examples

  • 虽然 外面 很 冷 ,可是 里面 很 暖和 。Suīrán wàimiàn hěn lěng, kěshì lǐmiàn hěn nuǎnhuo.Although it's cold outside, it's warm inside.
  • 这 件 衣服 虽然 有点 贵 ,但是 质量 很 好 。Zhè jiàn yīfu suīrán yǒudiǎn guì, dànshì zhìliàng hěn hǎo.Although this piece of clothing is a little expensive, the quality is pretty good.
  • 虽然 不 想 去 ,但是 还是 去 了 。suīrán bù xiǎng qù, dànshì háishì qù le.Although he didn't want to go, he ended up going.
  • 虽然 他 家 很 有钱 ,可是 他 从来 不 浪费 钱 。Suīrán tā jiā hěn yǒuqián, kěshì tā cónglái bù làngfèi qián.Even though his family is rich, he never wastes money.
  • 我 妹妹 虽然 很 胖 ,可是 很 灵活 。Wǒ mèimei suīrán hěn pàng, kěshì hěn línghuó.Although my little sister is fat, she is flexible.
  • 虽然 她 准备 得 很 好 ,但是 还是 有点 紧张 。Suīrán tā zhǔnbèi de hěn hǎo, dànshì háishì yǒudiǎn jǐnzhāng.Although she's prepared very well, she's still a little nervous.
  • 虽然 学历 高 ,可是 没有 工作 经验 。suīrán xuélì gāo, kěshì méiyǒu gōngzuò jīngyàn.Although you're well-educated, you don't have working experience.
  • 奶奶 虽然 八十 多 了 ,但是 精神 很 好 。Nǎinai suīrán bāshí duō le, dànshì tā jīngshén hěn hǎo.Although grandma is in her eighties, she look very well.
  • 虽然 你们 没有 赢 ,但是 我 知道 大家 尽力 了 。Suīrán nǐmen méiyǒu yíng, dànshì wǒ zhīdao dàjiā jìnlì le.You didn't win, but I know all of you did your best.
  • 虽然 我 认识 他 很长 时间 了 ,但是还是 不 了解 他 。Suīrán wǒ rènshi tā hěn cháng shíjiān le, dànshìháishì bù liǎojiě tā.Although I'v known him for a long time, I don't know much about him.

See also

Sources and further reading

Books