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Conceding a point with "shi"

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When conceding a point, we often put emphasis on the point we are conceding, and in Chinese there is a way to do that with 是 (shì).

Structure

This pattern is often used in an argument or debate. It's usually indicating that the speaker is conceding a point, but they still have some reservations about the topic at hand. Don't worry, the examples will make this clear.

Adj. + 是 + Adj. , 但是 / 就是 ⋯⋯

Examples

  • 工作 忙 忙 ,但是 我 很 开心 。Gōngzuò máng shì máng, dànshì wǒ hěn kāixīn.I am busy at work, but I'm very happy with my job.
  • 这 件 衣服 好看 好看 ,但是 不 适合 我 。Zhè jiàn yīfu hǎokàn shì hǎokàn, dànshì bù shìhé wǒ.This piece of clothing looks good, but it doesn't look good on me.
  • 这里 的 环境 好 好 ,但是 交通 不太 方便 。Zhèlǐ de huánjìng hǎo shì hǎo, dànshì jiāotōng bù tài fāngbiàn.This environment is great, but the transportation is not very convenient.
  • 累 ,但是 很 值得 。Lèi shì lèi, dànshì hěn zhídé.It's tiring, but it's all worth it.
  • 难 ,但是 我 相信 我 能 做到 。Nán shì nán, dànshì wǒ xiāngxìn wǒ néng zuòdào.It is difficult, but I believe that I can do it.

"但是"连接的第二个分句可以是好的、让人满意的方面或者相反的情况。"就是"连接的第二个分句一定是让人不满意的方面。

  • 好吃 好吃 ,就是 不 太 健康 。Hǎochī shì hǎochī, jiùshì bù tài jiànkāng.It is tasty, but it's not very healthy.
  • 这个 东西 好 好 ,就是 太 贵 了 。Zhège dōngxi hǎo shì hǎo, jiùshì tài guì le.This thing is good, but it's too expensive.
  • 这个 学生 聪明 聪明 ,就是 不 太 努力 。Zhège xuéshēng cōngming shì cōngming, jiùshì bù tài nǔlì.This student may be smart, but he's not very hardworking.
  • 他 女朋友 漂亮 漂亮 ,就是 有点 矮 。Tā nǚpéngyou piàoliang shì piàoliang, jiùshì yǒudiǎn ǎi.His girlfriend is pretty, but she is a little short.
  • 这个 老师 教 得 好 好 ,就是 太 严格 。 Zhège lǎoshī jiāo de hǎo shì hǎo, jiùshì tài yángé.This teacher teaches very well; It's just she's too strict.

See also

Sources and further reading

Books