第76課: The Particles が & けれど

These are perhaps the most used conjunctions in Japanese.  

The Conjunctive Particle が

The conjunctive particle が may give the premise of a conversation or indicate a contradiction. The two clauses of the sentence should be the same in politeness.

1. 目いが、どうしたの。(Casual)
     Your eyes are red...what's the matter?

2. テレビで聞いたが。  
    I heard it on TV, but...

3. 高いが、しつい。
    It's expensive, but the quality is bad.

4. ちょっとすみませんが、案内所(あんないじょ)はどこですか。
    Excuse me one moment, but where is the information center?

5. すみませんが、しおを取っていただけませんか。
    Excuse me, but could you pass me the salt?

6. やすいことはいが、い。
    A cheap thing is cheap, but the quality is bad. 

7. 寒いんですが、()布団(ぶとん)をもう一枚(いちまい)かしてくださいませんか。
    Since it is cold, could you lend me another quilt?

8. すみませんが、私の質問しつもんこたえてくださいませんか。
     I'm sorry, but could you please answer to my questions?

9. 質はいいが、値段ねだんも高い。
    The quality is good, but the price is high.

10. 映画えいがたが、面白おもしろかった。
      I watched a movie, and it was interesting.

11. 「日本語のコースでは、漢字をいくつか習いますか」「いくつ習うか分かりませんが、もう漢字が読めますから、 私は気にしません」
“How many Kanji do you learn in the Japanese course?” “I don't know how many you learn, but since I can already read Kanji, I don't care”. 

12. 本を読んだが、つまらなかった。
       I read it, and it was dull.

13. 札幌へは行きますが、函館へは行きません。
       I'll go to Sapporo, but I won't go to Hakodate.  

14. けるに負けたが、悲しくない。
      {I/we} indeed lost, but I'm not sad.

15. 聞くには聞いたが、まだよく聞こえない。
      I've listened to it and listened, but I still can't hear it well.

16. 高田くんは頭がいいが、冷たい人だ。
      Takata is smart, but he's a cold person.

Sentence Note: As is, this sentence is rather harsh. To critique someone less harshly in Japanese, you should mention the bad quality first and then say something positive.  

17. はないが、においができない。
      His nose is long, but he can't smell.

Word Choice Note: 高い is "long" for human noses; long for other noses like elephants' is い.

漢字 Note: The 漢字 spelling for におい in this situation is 匂い, which is very common.  

18. ちょっとおねがいがあるんですが。
      I have a little request.

Usage Note: This sentence shows how んですが can be used to introduce a topic politely, and it's followed by something that needs permission, whether it be a request or invitation. As this sentence shows, what follows が doesn't always have to be mentioned. Something that could have followed it here would be いいでしょうか. け(れ)ど could have been used instead of が.

The Conjunctive Particle けれど

けれど, more polite as けれども and casual as けど, means "although/but", similarly to が. It may also be used to mean "but" at the end of a sentence, but it may also just soften a statement to be more polite and indirect. Even as a conjunctive particle, it may just simply connect phrases without a sense of contrast.   

18. 彼は若いけれど、考えのしっかりした人です。
      Although he's young, he's a sound thinking person.

19. 漢字は書けないけれど、読むことはできます。
      Although I can't write Kanji, I can read them.

20. ちょっとテレビがうるさくて勉強できないんだけど、音を小さくしてくれない?(Casual)
      The TV is a little loud and I can't study, so could you turn it down?

21. 益田ですけれども。
      This is Masuda.  

22. もうすこし日本語がよく分かるといいのだけれども。
      But it would be nice if I understood Japanese a little bit better.

23. 登山とざんに行きたいんですけど、どこかいいところありませんか。
      I want to go mountain climbing. Could you tell me of any good places? 

24. この地方(ちほう)は寒くないと聞いたけれども、本当に毎日冷え()みますよ。
      Although I heard that it wasn't cold in this region, it actually gets chilly every day.

25. それは立派(りっぱ)だけれど、そうなっていない。
       That's great, but it's not turning out as such.

26. 返事へんじするにはするけど、もうちょっと待ってね。(Soft; probably a female speaker)
      I'll give you the answer, certainly, but could you wait a minute?

27. そうすっけど、本当にだいじょうぶ?
      I'll do so, but is it really OK?

Contraction Note: すっけど = するけど. る → っ is common in really causal speech in situations like this where it is before a consonant like k. Thus, するから may be seen as すっから. 

Variant Note: けども is a slightly old and somewhat dialectical variant.  

Phrase Note: こう言ってはなんだ{が・けど} is a vague way of saying that one might be saying too much.