Grammar Info
N4 Lesson 1: 11/18

だが
But, Still, However, Nevertheless

Structure
Casual
Formal
+ Phrase
です + Phrase
Details
Register Formal
使用域 硬い
Information
While だが (or ですが as a polite equivalent) are classified as their own words, they are actually just combinations of , or です, and . だが is usually used as a formal way of saying ‘but’, or ‘nevertheless’. Due to this, we can see that is being used to ‘determine’ that a statement is true, while simply shows that there is other important information to follow.
In this way, だが is very similar to the expression ‘that may be, but…’ in English. だが may be used at the beginning of any phrase, or between sentences.
  • 彼(かれ)弁護士(べんごし)だが、頭(あたま)良(よ)くない、不思議(ふしぎ)
    He is a lawyer, but he is not very smart… How odd.
  • 宝(たから)くじ100枚(まい)買(か)っだが、当(あ)たらなかった
    I bought 100 lottery tickets. However, I didn’t win.
Caution
When using ですが, it will automatically mean that the rest of the sentence should also use 丁寧語(ていねいご) (polite speech).
  • 美容室(びようしつ)行(い)っです、高(たか)かったので帰(かえ)りました
    I went to the hair salon, but since it was expensive, I came home.
To make だが sound a little bit softer, sometimes is added. However, this is not so common in modern-day Japanese, and is more limited to the older generation.
  • 君(きみ)いい人(ひと)と聞(き)いただがまだ君(きみ)信用(しんよう)できない
    I have heard that you are a good person. However, I can't trust you yet.
Fun Fact
Due to だが and ですが using (the formal equivalent of けど), this phrase can sound quite stiff. Therefore, it is far more common to hear でも at the beginning of a sentence in casual speech.
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大統領(だいとうりょう)言(い)いましたですが私(わたし)信(しん)じません
The president said that. However, I don't believe it.
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毎日(まいにち)運動(うんどう)しました。ですが、痩(や)せていません
I exercised everyday. However, I haven't lost any weight.
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本当(ほんとう)私(わたし)なくてはならないだがね、君(きみ)てほしい
Really, it is I who has to do it. However, I want you to do it.
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