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Question Yet VS But

hirashin

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Dear native English speakers,
How do "yet" and "but" differ as a conjunction?

Can you replace "yet" with "but" in the following passage?

Do you like chocolate? Many people do. Chocolate is very popular in Japan
and in many other countries. Yet how much do you know about chocolate?

Hirashin
 
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Yet how much do you know about chocolate?
I feel like there's a missing comma.

- Yet, how much do you know about chocolate?
- And yet, how much do you know about chocolate?
- But how much do you know about chocolate?
- But, how much do you know about chocolate?


These are all acceptable to me.

I think 'yet' as a conjunction can always be replaced with 'but'.

'Yet' as an adverb with a meaning like まだ・もう of course, cannot be replaced with 'but'.

E.g.,
- The building has not yet been completed.
- That is an as yet unsolved mystery.

'But' as a conjunction cannot always be replaced with 'yet'.
If it is calling attention to a contrast or asking the listener to pause to consider, the replacement is fine.
Sharp contradictions cannot be replaced with 'yet'.

- You might think so. But, no. The truth is otherwise.

If you rephrase more softly you can communicate essentially the same meaning with 'yet'.
- You might think so. Yet there is evidence that the truth is otherwise.
 

hirashin

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Thank you for the help, Chris.

According to Michael Swan's "Practical English Usage", Yet is not usually followed by a comma.
It was cold, yet it was pleasant. (NOT... yet, it was pleasant.)
 
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Thank you for the help, Chris.

According to Michael Swan's "Practical English Usage", Yet is not usually followed by a comma.
It was cold, yet it was pleasant. (NOT... yet, it was pleasant.)
Hmm. I agree in the case of that sentence, I'm not sure it's a universal rule for 'yet'. I'm just going by where I expect a natural pause though, not by any rules.
 

Michael2

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I think it's because "yet" is being used as an adverb in Chris's sentence, not a conjunction, like "However, ......" or "Yet, ........"
 

hirashin

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Thanks for the help, Michael2. Punctuation is always difficult.
 

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