How to say “but” in Japanese?

Audio file for how to say “but” in Japanese

Audio Notes

Question: “How to use shikashi and demo in a sentence? I don’t quite understand where in the sentence they would fit as I have been told that they fit in different places”…. As asked by Eloise

しかし and でも (Shikashi” and “Demo”) are common way of saying “but” in Japanese, but they could be used in many different ways as shown in the following

1)When “Shikashi” and “Demo” are used in similar ways

〔天気は悪い〕 しかし/でも 〔出発する〕
(tenkiwa warui shikashi/demo shyutt patsu suru)
Weather is bad but We will leave

〔実験は成功〕 しかし/でも 〔喜んではいられない〕
(jitt ken ha seikou shikashi/demo yorokonde ha irarenai)
The experiment was a success but It’s too soon to celebrate

〔言いたくない〕 しかし/でも 〔言わなければならない〕
(iitakunai shikashi/demo iwanakereba naranai)
I don’t want to say it but I must tell him / her

2) When changing the subject of a conversation

〔よく会社をやめたね〕 しかし/でも 〔これからどうするの〕
(yoku kaisha wo yametane shikashi /demo korekara dousuruno)
Wow, you really quite the job but what are you going to do now?

3)Only when “shikashi” can be used (emotional sentences)

しかし 〔よくこんなりっぱな家を建てたものだ〕
(shikashi yoku konna ritt pana iewo tateta monoda)
But, you really managed to build such a great house

4) Only when “demo” is used (extreme examples)

〔子供〕 でも 〔できる〕
(Kodomo demo dekiru)
Even a child can do it

〔昼前〕 でも 〔気温が三〇度ある〕
(hirumae demo kionga sanjyudo aru)
Even before it gets to noon, the temperature is already 30 degree Celsius

5) When it is not specified

〔だれ〕 でも 〔知っている〕
(dare demo shitt teiru)
Anybody knows it

〔なん〕 でも 〔食べる〕
(nan demo taberu)
Will eat anything

6) Additional tip
(shikashi ha demo no sukoshi kakikotobatekina hyougen desu)

Shikashi is like the writing version of demo


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