Conceding a point with "shi"
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).
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 ⋯⋯
- 工作 忙 是 忙 ，但是 我 很 开心 。I am busy at work, but I'm very happy with my job.
- 这 件 衣服 好看 是 好看 ，但是 不 适合 我 。This piece of clothing looks good, but it doesn't look good on me.
- 这里 的 环境 好 是 好 ，但是 交通 不太 方便 。This environment is great, but the transportation is not very convenient.
- 累 是 累 ，但是 很 值得 。It's tiring, but it's all worth it.
- 难 是 难 ，但是 我 相信 我 能 做到 。It is difficult, but I believe that I can do it.
- 好吃 是 好吃 ，就是 不 太 健康 。It is tasty, but it's not very healthy.
- 这个 东西 好 是 好 ，就是 太 贵 了 。This thing is good, but it's too expensive.
- 这个 学生 聪明 是 聪明 ，就是 不 太 努力 。This student may be smart, but he's not very hardworking.
- 他 女朋友 漂亮 是 漂亮 ，就是 有点 矮 。His girlfriend is pretty, but she is a little short.
- 这个 老师 教 得 好 是 好 ，就是 太 严格 。 This teacher teaches very well; It's just she's too strict.
Sources and further reading
- Chinese: An Essential Grammar, Second Edition (pp. 180) →buy
- Integrated Chinese: Level 1, Part 2 (3rd ed) (pp. 22- 3) →buy
- Integrated Chinese: Level 2, Part 1 (pp. 119) →buy