Adversative conjunctions (ma, però, tuttavia, eppure, bensì)… Have you ever wondered that their meaning is and how they are used? Well… here’s the lesson for you!
MA vs PERÒ
They express a fact or a situation in complete (different objects) or partial (different object:contradiction) contrast to what said in the previous sentence.
MA is only used at the beginning of the second sentence, the one that expresses the contrast.
Leggo molti libri ma non leggo riviste. (I read a lot of books but I don’t read magazines)
PERÒ can be used:
– in the same way as MA (at the beginning of the second sentence)
Leggo molti libri però non leggo riviste. (I read a lot of books but I don’t read magazines)
– at the end of the second sentence, the one that expresses
Leggo molti libri; non leggo riviste, però. (I read a lot of books; I don’t read magazines, though)
Also learn “anzi” and “anziché”!
TUTTAVIA vs EPPURE
They only express a partial contrast (same object), a contradiction to what said in the previous sentence, a juxtaposition!
Mi piace camminare, tuttavia prendo sempre l’autobus. (I like walking, however I always take the bus)
Mi piace camminare, eppure prendo sempre l’autobus. (I like walking, yet I always take the bus)
It’s a juxtaposition! I like walking but, despite this, I always take a vehicle!
Thus, the contrast expressed by tuttavia and eppure is very limited! Therefore we can’t compose sentences as:
Leggo molti libri, tuttavia/eppure non leggo riviste.
It’s not a juxtaposition!
It introduces a complete contrast (just like ma and però), about two different objects.
Be careful with its use! It introduces the second sentence, the one with the contradiction , BUT only if the previous sentence is NEGATIVE!
Non vado in vacanza al mare, bensì in montagna → right (I don’t go on vacation at the beach, but rather a ski trip)
Non prendo l’autobus, bensì vado a piedi → right (I don’t take the bus, I’d rather walk )
But you can’t say…
Vado in vacanza al mare, bensì non in montagna → wrong (the first sentence is not negative!)
Prendo l’autobus, bensì non vado a piedi → wrong (the first sentence is not negative!)
Now that you learned the differences between these words, also learn the differences between ANCHE SE, SEBBENE, NONOSTANTE, MALGRADO and PUR!