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Discussion in '日本語 (Japanese)' started by adexx, May 3, 2013.

  1. adexx Senior Member


    Could someone explain to me about the nuance/level of politeness for these words: でも/けど?

    Someone once told me that でも/けど are quite casual and should not be used when we talk with older/higher level people, instead we should use more neutral/polite forms like ~が、けれども etc. But I find でも/けど very convenient and somehow I tend to say them without even thinking (I guess because they are short, easy to pronounce)... Is this really not appropriate?
    How about the combination of polite form (e.g. ます/尊敬語) and けど、でも? Will it be strange if both polite & casual words are used together this way?

    I guess this has a lot to do with the nuance & language culture, so it might be helpful for me if I get opinions from some native speaker.

  2. Wishfull Senior Member

    I think you should provide us with a concrete Japanese sentence or sentences.

    General discussion would make no fruit after all, but in general, I think the combination of でも・けど and です・ます is not wrong.
    Because we often use です・ます even in our colloquial and casual speech.
  3. adexx Senior Member

    Sorry I don't have any specific context in mind.
    Actually it just comes down to 1 point: is it OK to でも・けど (meaning "but") in polite/formal speech?

  4. Tonky Senior Member

    First of all, speaking in polite form and making a formal speech are different.
    Second, でも・けど are indeed casual when used for "but" as a conjunction.
    You would not use でも・けど (in place of but) in formal speeches, but it also depends on how "formal" it is.
    When you are just talking to 目上, it all depends on whom you are talking to and what kind of conversation you are having, and how you say it.

    Considering you are not Japanese, some errors would be excused as a language barrier and people might not mind at all, but I cannot judge if it is okay or not without knowing enough details. As Wishfull said above, you really need to give your own example sentences plus whom you are supposed to be talking to, or we cannot really judge out of nothing. As for general ideas, it is probably better you read some articles already published and available everywhere.

    Or maybe it is easier for non-native speakers to answer your question, because they can tell from their own experience and their mistakes. Native speakers are always expected to do it right, so we usually go careful on every single detail, or some just don't care and let others feel uncomfortable or get yelled at (or spoken ill behind).
  5. frequency

    frequency Senior Member

    Tokyo, Japan
    Polite? Casual? I'd say they're common.

    でも is better. けど in this case? Not bad, very slightly casual. Either is OK. To older/higher level people? That depends..but roughly OK.
    けど is difficult and similar to 'although' that is used at the beginning of a sentence, although this is off topic.

    Both are sometimes better in writing.
    遅れますが、間に合います。(This may be the best, when you want to say politely)
    遅れるけれども、間に合います。 Of course you can use both in a conversation. Indeed, these two sound more polite lol

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