The "however" adverb "que"
却 (què) is used to indicate something was contrary to expectations, and is used in a similar way to 倒. However, it is generally followed by a negative comment:
The overall structure of sentences that use 却 is something like this:
Sentence ，(但是 +) Subj. + 却 ⋯⋯
Normally the first clause above makes a statement, and then the second clause introduces something contrary, generally in the form of a negative comment.
It's also important to point out that 却 is not a conjunction; it's an adverb. Practically speaking, this means that rather than joining two statements, it goes inside a statement (within the second clause). Specifically, it needs to come after the subject and before the verb. (Note that when you use a conjunction like 但是 it comes before the subject! 却 is different in this respect. Also, rather than replacing 但是, it can work with it to add emphasis.
Also, sometimes the subject of the second clause will be omitted. If there is a subject, however, 却 definitely needs to come after it.
A few examples to give you a better understanding of this:
- 我 是 你 最好 的 朋友 ，却 你 没 邀请 我 。
- 我 是 你 最好 的 朋友 ，你 却 没 邀请 我 。
- 我 是 你 最好 的 朋友 ，但是 你 却 没 邀请 我 。
- 他 家 很 有钱 ，却 他 从来 不 炫耀 。
- 他 家 很 有钱 ，他 却 从来 不 炫耀 。
- 他 家 很 有钱 ，但是 他 却 从来 不 炫耀 。
In the following examples, take note that 却 comes after the subject in each case, and that it can be used together with 但是.
- 他 是 老板 ，却 没有 人 听 他 的 。He's the boss, but nobody would listen to him.
- 他 的 学历 很 高 ，能力 却 很 一般 。He's very well-educated, but his ability is average.
- 他们 一见钟情 ， 却 没有 在 一起 。They fell in love at first sight, but they didn't end up with each other.
- 这 件 衣服 虽然 是 名牌 ，但是 质量 却 不 怎么样 。This piece of clothing is brandname, but the quality is not so good.
- 有些 人 智商 很 高 ，情商 却 很 低 。Some people have high IQ, but their EQ is, on the contrary, quite low.
- 他 只有 16 岁，却 比 同龄人 成熟 得多 。He's only sixteen, but he's more mature than people at his age.
Sources and further reading
- HSK Standard Course 4上 (pp. 22) →buy
- Chinese Grammar - Broken down into 100 items - Basic and Intermediate Levels (汉语语法百项讲练 - 初中级) (pp. 140-2) [ →buy]
- New Practical Chinese Reader 4 (新实用汉语课本4) (pp. 184) →buy