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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.

倒 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 的学生,但 成绩 也 不错。He's not a vey hard-working student, but his score isn't too 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.
  • 他 是 个 老外,普通话 挺 流利。He is a foreigner, but he speaks fluent Chinese.

Using 倒 to make a concession


倒 can also be used to express a concession, so it's often followed by 就是、但是、可是、不过.

Subj. 倒 + positive side,不过 / 但是 / 就是+undesirable things


  • 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 提供 的 服务 不错,但是 对 我 来说 太 贵 了。The service you provide 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