可是 / 不过 / 但是

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camelTrader

Member
English
不过 = spoken only
可是 = spoken/written - stronger than 不过
但是 = spoken/written - stronger than 可是

Is this correct?

Thanks!
 
  • OneStroke

    Senior Member
    Chinese - Cantonese (HK)
    I think 不过 is fine in written Chinese as well, although it's clearly less formal than the other two. I don't think there's a big difference between 可是 and 但是 either; I personally use them interchangeably...
     

    SuperXW

    Senior Member
    I think 不过 is fine in written Chinese as well, although it's clearly less formal than the other two. I don't think there's a big difference between 可是 and 但是 either; I personally use them interchangeably...
    Second it.
    You can also use 可/但 (single character) for the same places...
     

    adawg

    New Member
    English - American
    As a way of saying "but", I got the sense that 不过 (lit: "not go over") has a kind of "nonetheless" or "even so" feeling. (?)
     

    BODYholic

    Senior Member
    Chinese Cantonese
    不过 = spoken only
    可是 = spoken/written - stronger than 不过
    但是 = spoken/written - stronger than 可是

    Is this correct?

    Thanks!
    I agree with you on the scale of formality. 不过 -> 可是 -> 但是
    But if you rank it by strength, than it should be 可是 < 但是 < 不过.
    It is quite normal for a less formal word to sound more exertive than a formal/polite word.

    可是 usually comes with a tint of guiltiness.
    不过 is in total denial.

    Examples,
    不过你也不能怪我呀。(罪魁祸首是他呀!)
    可是你也不能怪我呀。(我也不想酱呀!)
    但是你也不能怪我呀。(我也是出于自卫。)


    You did not specify in your question and I'm not sure if you are interested. Strictly speaking 但是 means "but"(conjunction), but (pun unintended) 不过 and 可是 may or may not necessary serve that same meaning. The latter are more diversify in their usages.
     

    南島君

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    Please read this:
    http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=2436886&highlight=但是
    or this:
    http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=1844795&highlight=但是

    and you will come to a conclusion of: 但是>可是>不過 (read: In terms of contrast, 可是 is stronger than 不過, but lighter than 但是).

    If you need references from grammar book, please read 劉月華等《實用現代漢語語法》(北京:商務印書館,2001), page 872, 873:
    (一)重轉:雖然……,但是(可是)……、否則、不然、然而
    (二)輕轉:不過、卻、只是、就是
     
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