Jump to: navigation, search

Two words for "but"

(Redirected from ASGUD81S)

Using "but" in Chinese is really simple to learn. It involves the two words 可是 (kěshì) and 但是 (dànshì). Make no "buts" about it; you'll understand it in no time!

Structure

There are two main words for "but" in Chinese: 可是 (kěshì) and 但是 (dànshì). These are largely the same. The small difference is that 但是 (dànshì) is slightly more formal, whereas 可是 (kěshì) is just a bit more informal and a tad weaker in tone. You really don't need to worry about which one is the right one to use though, since they can be used interchangeably.

Statement, 可是 / 但是 + [Contrary Statement]

Examples

Usually 可是 (kěshì) and 但是 (dànshì) precede a new phrase within a sentence:

  • 我 喜欢 他,可是 他 不 喜欢 我。Wǒ xǐhuan tā, kěshì tā bù xǐhuan wǒ.I like him, but he doesn't like me.
  • 我 很 想 去,但是 我 太 忙 了。Wǒ hěn xiǎng qù, dànshì wǒ tài máng le.I really want to go, but I am too busy.
  • 中文 很 有意思,但是 也 很 难。Zhōngwén hěn yǒuyìsi, dànshì yě hěn nán.Chinese is very interesting, but it is also very hard.
  • 我 喜欢 这 件 衬衫,可是 太 贵 了。Wǒ xǐhuan zhè jiàn chènshān, kěshì tài guì le.I like this shirt, but it is too expensive.
  • 老板 昨天 给 他 打 电话,可是 他 没 接。Lǎobǎn zuótiān gěi tā dǎ diànhuà, kěshì tā méi jiē.The boss gave him a call yesterday, but he didn't answer.
  • iPhone 很 好,但是 我 没 钱 买。iPhone hěn hǎo, dànshì wǒ méi qián mǎi.The iPhone is great, but I don't have the money to buy it.
  • 你们 可以 在 这里 看书,可是 不 可以 说话。Nǐ kěyǐ zài zhèlǐ kàn shū, kěshì bù kěyǐ shuōhuà.You can read books here, but you can't talk.
  • 你 可以 吃, 但是 不 可以 吃 太 多。Nǐ kěyǐ chī, dànshì bù kěyǐ chī tài duō.You can eat, but you can't eat too much.
  • 他 说 五 点 来 见 我,但是 他 没 来。Tā shuō wǔ diǎn lái jiàn wǒ, dànshì tā méi lái.He said he would come to see me at five, but he didn't.
  • 这 个 地方 很 漂亮,但是 人 太 多 了。Zhège dìfang hěn piàoliang, dànshì rén tài duō le.This place is beautiful, but there are too many people.

Note: In informal spoken Chinese, 可是 (kěshì) can be shortened to 可 (kě), and 但是 (dànshì) can be shortened to 但 (dàn).

See also

Sources and further reading

Books

{{Source|Chinese Reference Series for Foreigners - 1700 Groups of Frequently Used Chinese Synonyms (外国人学汉语工具书 - 1700对近义词语用法对比)]] (p.319)