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The differences between 不过 and 但是

Today we will learn the differences between 不过 and 但是 and how to use them in a sentence.

Language points

不过 and 但是 both are used at the beginning of the second clause to indicate a transition in meaning. For example:

我本来想当律师,不过/但是后来我发现自己对新闻更感兴趣。

Differences:

不过 is often used in spoken Chinese to politely give a suggestion or express refusal, while 但是conveys a harder tone. For example:

对不起,先生,那种蛋糕已经卖完了,不过,您可以尝一下这种饼干,味道也很不错。

别人的方法也许很有效,但是并不一定适合你。

不过 can also be used as an adverb, meaning “only, merely”, usually followed by a numeral; 但是 however, has no such usage. For example:

他学了不过几个月的中文,就已经说得这么好了。

Dialogue 1

孙月:礼拜天有空儿吗?陪我去逛街怎么样?我想去给丈夫买个生日礼物。

王静:我可能去不了,最近事情多。

孙月:你最近是不是工作特别忙?

王静:我现在上有老,下有小。除了工作以外,家里还有母亲和儿子需要照顾。

孙月:真是辛苦啊!你最近脸色不太好,是不是哪儿不舒服?要注意身体啊。

王静:没事儿,谢谢!不过现在我很幸福,因为在母亲面前我可以做一个永远长不大的孩子;在孩子面前我又是个能照顾他的母亲,这让我有了努力的方向。

好,我们一起来回答问题。

王静能陪孙月去逛街吗?为什么?

王静现在感觉怎么样?

如果你是孙月,用你的话说说朋友王静的生活:

 我想约王静礼拜天去逛街,给我丈夫买个生日礼物,可是王静最近事情太多,去不了。她现在上有老,下有小。除了工作以外,家里还有母亲和儿子需要照顾,挺辛苦的。不过王静觉得没关系,在母亲面前,她可以做一个永远长不大的孩子,在孩子面前她又是个可以照顾孩子的母亲,这些都让她觉得很幸福,让她有了努力的方向。
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HSK Standard Course Level 4: 4.2

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