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Japanese Grammar Plug & Play Prepositions

Updated on February 15, 2016

How to negate anything in Japanese without EVER Saying NO! Japanese prepositions - but . . . Japanese Grammar Lesson #104

4 Ways to Negate Anything in Japanese -

The many ways to say

"but" in Japanese.



It is never a wise idea to refute the ideas of others. However, in the normal processes of direct communication; between two individuals or any number of language speakers - or, groups of people involved in round-table discussions, it becomes necessary to use the preposition but. In modern Japanese, the preposition but can be expressed in at least four different ways. By learning these four ways of saying but, you'll be able to understand and say sentences of negation in Japanese.


These words are very powerful, so use them with caution. Take extra special care when talking to someone... like say . . . ...your Boss! You wouldn't want to intentionally negate your Boss. No matter how much you would like to impress him with your vast Japanese language power and finely tuned Japanese language skills. Below I present four ways in which the preposition

"but" can be used in Japanese. Followed thereafter by Japanese grammar plug and play samples, and the G.A.B. (Grammar After Blast). Enjoy learning and improving your Japanese speaking abilities. Turn communication into a lingual art. Have fun and enjoy the rest of the lesson.


Words for the preposition but -

  1. butga

  2. but shikashi (however)

  3. but kedo, keredo, keredomo

  4. but demo


Ex. 1. I want to kiss her; but, she won’t let me!

Kanojo ni kissu sasete moraitiai n'da keredomo, sasete moraenai n'da!


Ex. 2. Her English skills are no good, but she sure can cook though!

Kanojo no eigo wa dame nan da kedo, ryo^ri wa umai n'da!


Ex. 3. He said he was a doctor, however to tell you the real truth, he is just an ordinary dentist!


Kare wa ishasan da to iutta tai, shikashi honto wa kare. . . tada no haishasan!

  • re-yaku – another way to say Ex. 3
  • Ex. 3.Kare wa isha da tte! Demo honki wa taishita mon ja nai.


Ex. 4. The president has completely died, but his spirit lives on.


Daito^ryo^san wa shinde shimaimashita ga, kare no rei wa mada ikitsuzuite iru no desu.


Ex. 5. But . . . I wanted the pink one!


Demo. . . pinku no yatsu ga hoshikatta no da! . . . pinku no yatsu ga hoshikatta no da!


Ex. 6. I like her, but don't you think she is kind of short?

Ore wa kanojo ga suki nanya kedo, chotto se ga hikui to omouwanai to desu ka?

  • It is usually easy to tell on hearing the Japanese syllable ga whether it is the participle ga, or the preposition ga. The preposition ga when it is meant to mean 'but', is usually accompanied by a small pause and its use is more formal than any of the keredemo or demo variations. It is better to remember shikashi as however and the keredemo variations as but.
  • Ghetto after blast
  • 2 point advice. Since the Japanese words shikashi, kedo, keredemo, demo, and ga, all basically mean the same thing, you won't have to remember as much, so beginners might find it helpful to pick just one. Just remember that shikashi and ga sound more formal perhaps than kedo, and keredo. Oh yeah... I almost forgot to mention that the word for ribbit in Japanese is kero, so make sure your pronunciation of kedo doesn't make you sound like you are talking like a frog, unless of course you are a princess!


As always, Ganbatte Ne! Do your best! Makurasuki


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