I often hear とは言え used as a conjunction between sentences. What does it mean?

ALC didn't offer much help.

  • I don't know about that ALC thing, but you should give jisho.org a try when you cannot find the words you are looking for. Mar 29, 2017 at 1:06
  • Typically written in kana (but kanji is not incorrect).
    – user1478
    Mar 29, 2017 at 1:17

2 Answers 2


It's on ALC. It's listed in hiragana because it's a fossilized conjunction.

  • とはいえ: nevertheless; that being said; be it as it may

Etymologically, this is 'quotative-と' + 'thematic-は' + '已然形 of 言う(言ふ)'. Hence literally "that being said."

  • Ah, silly me, I was search with the kanji and it wasn't coming up. Thanks for that.
    – paullb
    Mar 29, 2017 at 1:04

It is basically used as "but".

Literally it means something like "it can be said".

For example,

Although it can be said that I met her by coincidence, it felt like destiny to me.

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