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Conceding a point with "shi"

Chinese-grammar-wiki-shi.jpg

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.Work may be busy, but I'm very happy.
  • 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 may look nice, but it doesn't suit 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 may be nice, but transportation is not very convenient.
  • 累 ,但是 很 值得 。Lèi shì lèi, dànshì hěn zhídé.It may be tiring, but it's really 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.

When using 但是, the second clause can express positive experiences or something good, as well as negative perspectives. However, when leading with 就是, the second clause needs to express something negative.

  • 好吃 好吃 ,就是 不 太 健康 。Hǎochī shì hǎochī, jiùshì bù tài jiànkāng.It may be tasty, it's just that 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 may be good, it's just that 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, it's just that he's not very hard-working.
  • 他 女朋友 漂亮 漂亮 ,就是 有点 奇怪 。Tā nǚpéngyou piàoliang shì piàoliang, jiùshì yǒudiǎn qíguài.His girlfriend may be pretty, it's just that she's is a little weird.
  • 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 may teach well; it's just that she's too strict.

See also

Sources and further reading

Books