The "however" adverb "que"

Chinese-grammar-wiki-que.jpg

却 (què) is used to indicate something was contrary to expectations, and is used in a similar way to . However, it is generally followed by a negative comment:

Structure

The overall structure of sentences that use 却 is something like this:

Sentence ,(但是 +) Subj. + 却 ⋯⋯

Normally the first clause above makes a statement, and then the second clause introduces something contrary, generally in the form of a negative comment.

It's also important to point out that 却 is not a conjunction; it's an adverb. Practically speaking, this means that rather than joining two statements, it goes inside a statement (within the second clause). Specifically, it needs to come after the subject and before the verb. (Note that when you use a conjunction like 但是 it comes before the subject! 却 is different in this respect. Also, rather than replacing 但是, it can work with it to add emphasis.

Also, sometimes the subject of the second clause will be omitted. If there is a subject, however, 却 definitely needs to come after it.

A few examples to give you a better understanding of this:

  • 我 是 你 最好 的 朋友 , 你 没 邀请 我 。
  • 我 是 你 最好 的 朋友 ,你 没 邀请 我 。Wǒ shì nǐ zuì hǎo de péngyou, nǐ què méi yāoqǐng wǒ.I'm your best friend, but you didn't invite me.
  • 我 是 你 最好 的 朋友 ,但是 没 邀请 我 。Wǒ shì nǐ zuì hǎo de péngyou, dànshìquè méi yāoqǐng wǒ.I'm your best friend, but you didn't invite me.
  • 他 家 很 有钱 , 他 从来 不 炫耀 。
  • 他 家 很 有钱 ,他 从来 不 炫耀 。Tā jiā hěn yǒu qián, tā què cónglái bù xuànyào.His family is rich, but he never flaunts it.
  • 他 家 很 有钱 ,但是 从来 不 炫耀 。Tā jiā hěn yǒu qián, dànshìquè cónglái bù xuànyào.His family is rich, but he never flaunts it.

Examples

In the following examples, take note that 却 comes after the subject in each case, and that it can be used together with 但是.

  • 他 是 老板 , 没有 人 听 他 的 。Tā shì lǎobǎn, què méiyǒu rén tīng tā de.He's the boss, but nobody would listen to him.
  • 他 的 学历 很 高 ,能力 很 一般 。Tā de xuélì hěn gāo, nénglì què hěn yībān.He's very well-educated, but his ability is average.
  • 他们 一见钟情 , 没有 在 一起 。Tāmen yījiànzhōngqíng, què méiyǒu zài yīqǐ.They fell in love at first sight, but they didn't end up with each other.
  • 这 件 衣服 虽然 是 名牌 ,但是 质量 不 怎么样 。Zhè jiàn yīfú suīrán shì míngpái, dànshì zhìliàng què bù zěnme yàng.This piece of clothing is brand-name, but the quality is not so good.
  • 有些 人 智商 很 高 ,情商 很 低 。Yǒuxiē rén zhìshāng hěn gāo, qíngshāng què hěn dī.Some people have high IQ, but their IQ is, on the contrary, quite low.
  • 他 只有 16 岁, 比 同龄人 成熟 得多 。Tā zhǐyǒu 16 suì, què bǐ tónglíng rén chéngshú dé duō.He's only sixteen, but he's more mature than people at his age.

See also

Sources and further reading

Books