Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The many "Buts" of Japanese

There are many ways to say "but" in Japanese. But nuance and situation play a big role in how these different words can and should be used. Here are a few words that can be translated as "but."

すみません、どうやって東京へ行けますか?

けど
徹底的にしたがたと思ったけど、時間がなくて、やっぱり中途半端だった。

けれど(も)
See above. Slighly more formal than けど

のに
毎日ブログに書いているのに、こういう文法的なことがよく覚えられないよ。

くせに
彼は天才だと言われているくせに、本の代わりに漫画ばかり読んでいるよ。

だが
あの人には才能がある。だが、その才能を使ってない。
In spoken Japanese, it is usually replaced by でも or けれど(も)

しかし
Your sentence here!

Can you think of any more? Let's discussing buts !


"しかし can also be しかしながら.
というのに is kinda like "but" too.
一方 is used for heavy-duty contrasting.
ながらも is also used to create contrasts between one clause and another, like so:
真実を知りながらも、嘘を突きました。
Even knowing the truth, (he) told a lie."
(The も in ながらも is also optional.)
-Futureal

"I sometimes hear ただし too.
Also, how about ものの?
申し込みはしたものの、試験をうけるかどうか未定だ。
According to my book, in adjective and noun form ーとはいうものの is often used instead.
反面 is another (formal) contraster, roughly corresponding to だが.
パソコンは便利な反面、トラブルも多い。
Lastly, Masu+つつ is a formal way of saying ながら."
-Sakaya Slag

8 comments:

futureal said...

しかし can also be しかしながら.

というのに is kinda like "but" too.

一方 is used for heavy-duty contrasting.

jljzen88 said...

Also, can't nagara following a noun have a but-eaque meaning?

残念ながら、締め切りがもう経ちました。
I'm sorry but the deadline has already passed

futureal said...

I've never seen ながら following any noun besides 残念. Then again, I'm not exactly a scholar of Japanese literature either. Anyway, ながらも is also used to create contrasts between one clause and another, like so:

真実を知りながらも、嘘を突きました。
Even knowing the truth, (he) told a lie.

I think the も may be optional.

ss said...

I sometimes hear ただし too. Also, how about ものの?

申し込みはしたものの、試験をうけるかどうか未定だ。

According to my book, in adjective and noun form ーとはいうものの is often used instead.

反面 is another (formal) contraster, roughly corresponding to だが.

パソコンは便利な反面、トラブルも多い。

Lastly, Masu+つつ is a formal way of saying ながら。

My question is, why do they need so many words?!! :-)

jljzen88 said...

「真実を知りながらも、嘘を突きました。
Even knowing the truth, (he) told a lie.

I think the も may be optional.」

Yeah, according to the Intermediate Dictionary, it's optional.
By the way, the way I like to think of that one is using verb-masuながら form's other meaning "while"

テレビえを見ながら、食べた
I watched television while eating.

And using it to mean "although" or "even though"

真実を知りながらも、嘘を突きました。
While he knew the truth, (he) told a lie.

That way you can use the same word to remember the two meanings.

jljzen88 said...

SS -I forgot about ものの! To be honest, though --I've never heard it in conversation, nor have I seen it written.
It's in my 2kyuu practice guides, but it isn't in the Intermediate Grammar Dictionary. Weird.

Nick said...

Well you just suck bro ;D I've seen ものの all over the place in mixi land.

[過去の出来事や現在の状況をのべて「だがしかし」と文を続けるのに用いる。後ろには前に述べられたことから普通に予測されることがおこらない、おこりそうにないという表現が続く。

。。。
「その後の事態に自信がもてない、現実が難しいなどの表現が続くことが多い。

(and there you have it :-P)

I'll make sure to highlight any entries I come across with this pattern in the wild. I don't know why it intrigues me so much.

jljzen88 said...

「Well you just suck bro ;D I've seen ものの all over the place in mixi land.」

Harsh!
I was checking up on it, and I learned that ものの is primarily a written expression and not spoken.