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Coordinating Conjunction “But" | (B-Level, Intermediate)

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”But” — Showing Contrast

We use the coordinating conjunction “but” to combine sentences or ideas and show a contrast between the ideas in the sentences.

You can also use “but” between parts of a sentence.


Examples using “and” showing contrast between ideas

Between sentences

Everyone enjoyed the movie, but Mary hated it.

I wanted to but a car, but I did not have enough money.

Mr. Yang was a popular candidate, but he lost the election.

Between parts of the sentence

He is a good video editor but not very creative.

She’s not an engineer but an architect.

I was glad to see John but not to see Mary.

Difference between “but” and “yet”

Examine these sentences:

Carlos said he was tired, but he went to the party.

Carlos said he was tired, yet he went to the party.

In these sentences, "but" and “yet” have similar meanings; however, there are small differences. In both sentences, “but” and “yet” show a contrast between ideas. In Sentence 2, however, “yet” also expresses that the result was unexpected or undesirable, and it sounds a little more formal than “but.”


For a more details, see the lesson on “yet.” (Lesson opens in a new tab.)

Up Next: Coordinating Conjunction “For”

Go to the next lesson to learn about the uses of the coordinating conjunction “for.”

Related Lessons

This lesson is part of a complete unit on coordinating conjunctions.

To cover the whole unit, use the “Unit Navigation” button below.

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