Expressing "although" with "suiran" and "danshi"
The grammar pattern 虽然⋯⋯ 但是⋯⋯ (suīrán... dànshì...) is one of the most commonly used patterns in Chinese, especially in written Chinese. You can think of it as meaning "although," but unlike in English, you still need to follow it up with a "but" word in Chinese.
虽然⋯⋯ 但是⋯⋯ expresses that while the former part of the sentence is true, there is an adverse reaction in the latter part.
虽然 ⋯⋯ ，但是 / 可是 ⋯⋯
Simply put, the pattern means, although..., but... In English, you wouldn't normally need the "but" there, but it is required in Chinese. Be aware that 可是 can be used interchangeably with 但是 for the "but" part. Also note that 还是 can be used after 但是 for emphasis, meaning "still."
- 虽然 外面 很 冷 ，可是 里面 很 暖和 。Although it's cold outside, it's warm inside.
- 这 件 衣服 虽然 有点 贵 ，但是 质量 很 好 。Although this piece of clothing is a little expensive, the quality is good.
- 他 虽然 不 想 去 ，但是 还是 去 了 。Although he didn't want to go, he ended up going.
- 虽然 他 家 很 有钱 ，可是 他 从来 不 浪费 钱 。Even though his family is rich, he never wastes money.
- 我 妹妹 虽然 很 胖 ，可是 很 灵活 。Although my little sister is fat, she is flexible.
- 虽然 她 准备 得 很 好 ，但是 还是 有点 紧张 。Although she has prepared very well, she's still a little nervous.
- 你 虽然 学历 高 ，可是 没有 工作 经验 。Although you're well-educated, you don't have work experience.
- 奶奶 虽然 八十 多 岁 了 ，但是 她 精神 很 好 。Although grandma is in her eighties, she is energetic.
- 虽然 你们 没有 赢 ，但是 我 知道 大家 尽力 了 。Although you didn't win, I know that all of you did your best.
- 虽然 我 认识 他 很长 时间 了 ，但是 我 还是 不 了解 他 。Although I've known him for a long time, I still don't know him well.
Sources and further reading
- HSK Standard Course 2 (pp. 108) →buy
- HSK Standard Course 4上 (pp. 108) →buy
- Basic Patterns of Chinese Grammar (pp. 115-6) →buy
- Common Chinese Patterns 330 (汉语常用格式330例) (pp. 217) →buy
- Integrated Chinese: Level 1, Part 1 (3rd ed) (pp. 245) →buy
- Modern Mandarin Chinese Grammar: A Practical Guide (pp. 256-7) →buy
- New Practical Chinese Reader 2 (新实用汉语课本2) (pp. 177) →buy