Grammar Info

N5 Lesson 5: 6/12

But, However

が can sometimes mean something closer to 'and', or a comma that connects clauses

Structure

Verb +
[い]Adjective +
[な]Adjective + +
Noun + +

Details

  • Part of Speech

    Particle

  • Word Type

    Conjunctive Particle

  • Register

    Standard

  • 品詞

    助詞

  • 単語の種類

    接続助詞

  • 使用域

    一般

About が

As a particle, has several different uses in Japanese. However, each of these different uses share a common theme. That theme expresses 'highlighting (A) as important, (B)'. In this use, comes across as 'but', or 'however' in English.
This nuance of is used directly after any form of verb or い-Adjective, but requires one of the conjugations of or です before it when used with a noun or な-Adjective.
  • 毎日(まいにち)(はし)運動(うんどう)きらい
    I run everyday, but I don't like exercise.
  • このカレー(から)美味(おい)
    This curry is spicy, but delicious.
  • (くるま)便利(べんり)(あぶ)
    Cars are convenient, but dangerous.
  • (かね)大切(たいせつ)時間(じかん)大切(たいせつ)
    Money is important, but time is also important.
From these examples, we can see that is simply highlighting that 'while (A) is important, there is extra information'. with the meaning of 'but' is considered to be very formal, this is due to it sounding quite direct in asserting that there is extra information.
Caution
Sometimes a statement will end with . In these cases it just means that more information exists, but it is obvious, so it does not need to be said.
  • まあ、綺麗(きれい)です
    Well, it is pretty, but… (I still don't like it)

Examples

  • (むずか)しいです頑張(がんば)ります

    It is difficult, but I will do my best.

    In an AがB sentence, unlike many other grammar points, the politeness in the A and B clauses (parts of the sentence) should match. So '難しいが, 頑張る' and '難しいですが, 頑張ります' are both correct. However '難しいが、頑張ります' would be considered unnatural.

  • (さむ)です(そと)()きます

    It's cold, but I will go outside.

  • ロイさん携帯(けいたい)(ふる)です(はや)です

    Roy's cellphone is old, but it is fast.

  • すみませんこの漢字(かんじ)意味(いみ)(なん)です

    I'm sorry, but what is the meaning of this kanji?

  • 綺麗(きれい)です(あぶ)ないです

    It is beautiful but dangerous.

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が – Grammar Discussion

Most Recent Replies (7 in total)

  • nekoyama

    nekoyama

    About 1 month ago

    There’s nothing in 面白い that makes it polite, so if you want to be polite you have to add です or rephrase in some other way that allows a politeness marker.

    If anything, in general, the です at the end is more important than the one in the middle. Like the example note says, with が, politeness should match, like in 大変ですが面白いです. But with many other conjunctions, only the final politeness marker is required for a polite sentence. For example, 大変だけど面白いです is fine, although using です in both parts is also OK.

  • Warden

    Warden

    About 1 month ago

    That makes a lot of sense, thank you for clarifying!

  • Durdool

    Durdool

    About 1 month ago

    Hi all,

    I have a similar question. In the suggestions on the first sentence, we read:

    In an AがB sentence, unlike many other grammar points, the politeness in the A and B clauses (parts of the sentence) should match. So ‘難しいが, 頑張る’ and ‘難しいですが, 頑張ります’ are both correct. However ‘難しいが、頑張ります’ would be considered unnatural.

    A few examples later, we are given this phrase:

    日本語は面白いが、難しいです。

    Given what indicated in the suggestion, should not this phrase be either 日本語は面白いが、難しい or 日本語は面白いですが、難しいです?

    Thank you!

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