Expressing contrariness with "dao"
倒 (dào) can be used to express something is contrary to expectations, acting as a turning point in the sentence. It is generally followed by a positive comment.
Using 倒 as "However"
倒 can be used to express an unexpected situation. Note that 倒 is often followed by 也 or 又 to add further emphasis.
⋯⋯ ，Subj. + 倒 + (也 / 又) ⋯⋯
- 他 不 是 很 努力 ，成绩 倒 也 不错 。He's not vey hard-working, but his score isn't bad.
- 已经 是 春天 了，倒 又 冷 起来 了。It's already spring, but it's getting cold.
- 不 吃 药 ，病 倒 慢慢 好 了。I didn't take any medicine, but I'm getting better.
- 英语 不 是 他 的 母语 ，他 说 得 倒 挺 地道 的 。English is not his mother language, but he speaks quite like a native speaker.
Using 倒 as "Despite"
倒 can also be used to express a concession, mostly emphasizing the positive side. 就是、但是、可是、不过 is often used to emphasize undesirable things.
Subj. + 倒 ⋯⋯ ，不过 / 但是 / 就是 ⋯⋯
- 这 篇 文章 的 内容 倒 不错 ，就是 太 长 了 。The content of this article is great, but it's a little too long.
- 这 件 衣服 的 样式 和 大小 倒 都 合适 ，可是 我 不 喜欢 这 个 颜色 。The style and size if this piece of clothes fit me well, but I don't like its color.
- 你们 的 服务 倒 不错 ，但是 对 我 来说 太 贵 了 。Your service is great, but it's too expensive to me.
- 我 倒 想 陪 你 一起 去 ，不过 要 等 到 周末 。I want to come with you, but you need to wait until this weekend.
For more on 倒, be sure to check our C1 (advanced) grammar point on expressing contrariness with 倒.
- Expressing contrariness with "dao"
- The "However" Adverb "que"
- "On the Contrary" with "fan'er"
- Conceding a Point with "shi"
Sources and further reading
- Chinese Grammar - Broken down into 100 items - Basic and Intermediate Levels (汉语语法百项讲练 - 初中级) (pp. 140-3) [ →buy]
- New Practical Chinese Reader 5 (新实用汉语课本5) (pp. 52) →buy
- HSK Standard Course 5上 (pp. 64) →buy