Ma versus Però

Is there a great difference between these? I cannot really tell from the examples in which they are used.

January 31, 2013

  • 2060

"Ma" is the same as "but": it joins sentences or words tightly, and must always be at the beginning. "Però" is the same as "however" or "though", and like those is a looser joiner that can be put in different places in a sentence.

For some examples, "strano ma vero" (strange but true) and "non è giusto però" (it's not fair though). You can't switch them in those examples without altering the sentence: for instance you could say "è strano, però è vero" (it's strange, however it's true).

January 31, 2013

thank you. this makes it a lot easier to understand. so, the two words are essentially interchangeable, depending on where they are placed in the sentence?

February 4, 2013
  • 2060

There are some instances when però can't substitute ma, for instance when joining names (the strano ma vero example above), but they do hold the same meaning.

February 5, 2013

This explanation is very helpful. Thanks!

February 6, 2013

Thanks very much! It's a lot clearer.

February 5, 2013

I never came across Però during the lessons.

June 20, 2013

Same here... Why would it be? I'm worried to miss words because of something I could be doing wrong

October 7, 2013

I guess the lessons has changed a little bit during last months. Però must be now introduced in a more advanced lesson.

October 14, 2013

very helpful!

August 23, 2013
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