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Disjunctive Sentences Posted by on Apr 14, 2010 in Grammar

We’ve learned how to add clauses, phrases and sentences together, but how do we form disjunctive sentences like “but” and “however”?

One way to do it is to use でも :

私はイギリス人ですでも、英語を話しません = I am a British person, but I don’t speak English

(わたし/= I. = particle. イギリス = England/Britain. じん/ = person. です = is)

(でも = but. えいご/英語 = English. = particle. はなしません/話しません = don’t speak)

Another way to form disjunctive sentences is to use :

ビールは飲みますがワインは飲みません = I drink beer, but I don’t drink wine.

(ビール = beer. = particle. のみます/飲みます = drink. = but. ワイン = wine. = particle. のみません/飲みません = don’t drink)

In conversational Japanese, でも and is frequently used, but in written communication しかし is preferred :

平日は大学へ行きます。しかし、週末は働きます働きます = On weekdays I will go to college, however on weekends I will work.

(へいじつ/平日 = weekday. = particle. だいがく/大学 = college. = particle. いきます/行きます = go)

(しかし = however. しゅうまつ/週末 = weekend. = particle. はたらきます/働きます働きます = work)

だが is another disjunctive used in written communication :

彼は貧乏です。だが正直です = He is poor but honest

(かれ/= he. = particle. びんぼうです/貧乏です = poor. だが = but. しょうじきです/正直です = honest)

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