Expressing contrariness with "dao"

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倒 (dào) can be used to express something is contrary to expectations, acting as a turning point in the sentence. It is generally followed by a positive comment.

Using 倒 as "However"

倒 can be used to express an unexpected situation. Note that 倒 is often followed by 也 or 又 to add further emphasis.


⋯⋯ ,Subj. + 倒 + (也 / 又) ⋯⋯


  • 他 不 是 很 努力 ,成绩 也 不错 。He's not vey hard-working, but his score isn't bad.
  • 已经 是 春天 了, 又 冷 起来 了。It's already spring, but it's getting cold.
  • 不 吃 药 ,病 慢慢 好 了。I didn't take any medicine, but I'm getting better.
  • 英语 不 是 他 的 母语 ,他 说 得 挺 地道 的 。English is not his mother language, but he speaks quite like a native speaker.

Using 倒 as "Despite"


倒 can also be used to express a concession, mostly emphasizing the positive side. 就是、但是、可是、不过 is often used to emphasize undesirable things.

Subj. + 倒 ⋯⋯ ,不过 / 但是 / 就是 ⋯⋯


  • 这 篇 文章 的 内容 不错 ,就是 太 长 了 。The content of this article is great, but it's a little too long.
  • 这 件 衣服 的 样式 和 大小 都 合适 ,可是 我 不 喜欢 这 个 颜色 。The style and size if this piece of clothes fit me well, but I don't like its color.
  • 你们 的 服务 不错 ,但是 对 我 来说 太 贵 了 。Your service is great, but it's too expensive to me.
  • 想 陪 你 一起 去 ,不过 要 等 到 周末 。I want to come with you, but you need to wait until this weekend.

For more on , be sure to check our C1 (advanced) grammar point on expressing contrariness with 倒.

See also

Sources and further reading