TIL: Human Japanese 33 (But…)

Go figure. Last chapter was 38 pages, and this one is only 5! I’m starting to get thirsty for finishing this app, so let’s forget the blathering for tonight and just dive in.

Chapter 33: But…

ーが「… but」
ーけれども「… but」
ーけれど「… but」
ーけど「… but」

でも and しかし are both words that get used at the beginning of a sentence:
ーでも、すしがすきではありません。「But I don’t like sushi.」
ーしかし、せんせいいはいません。「However, the Teacher isn’t here.」
ーでも、えきにいきませんでした。「But I didn’t go to the station.」

でも tends to sound more conversational, while しかし seems a little heavier. Neither of these work if you want the but in the middle of a thought though. In such a case, you could use the other examples.

けれでも is a bit long… so けど is often used (though is very informal). Simply state your sentence, use your “but” word, use a comma, then add your secondary clause.

ーがっこうにいきましたが、せんせいいはいませんでした。「I went to school, but the teacher wasn’t there.」

Remember, in Japanese the comma comes after が because it’s a postpositional language. English is prepositional, so you would place the , before the but.

ージョンさんはだいがくにいきましたけど、べんきょうしませんでした。「John went to college, but he didn’t study.」
ーれきしがすきではありませんけれでも、ちりがだいすきです。「I didn’t like History, but I loved Geography.」