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I'm studying とはいうものの when used after a full stop in this way.

"......。とはいうものの、......。"

According to the very few examples I could find about this grammar pattern used in this way (after a full stop, not after a clause), it seems to mean "however". However, I don't know very well the nuances of it as well as when I can use it and when not.

Would "___。とはいうものの" be always interchangeable with other conjunctions that also mean "however" like しかし for example? If not, could you please give me an example where I can see the difference in usage?

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I think とはいうものの is close to English that said (or maybe just sometimes). It is usually followed by something that adds reservations to the antecedent or things that are unexpected.

しかし is more simple but.


Examples:

  • 4月だ。しかしまだ寒い。It is April, but it is still cold.
  • 4月だ。とはいうもののまだ寒い。

Both are fine (probably the latter sounds more natural).

  • 彼は働き者だ。しかし彼の弟は怠け者だ。He is hard-working, but his brother is lazy.

Here しかし indicates the contrast between him and his brother, and とはいうものの cannot be used.

  • 駅は近い。とはいうものの歩いて30分はかかる。 The station is near. Yet it is a 30 minute walk.

Here しかし may be not entirely impossible, but sounds much less natural. It gives a reservation to the near. (The first sentence in this paragraph may translate to: とはいうものの、ここで「しかし」が使えないわけではない)

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  • Thank you very much for your answer. Now I understand better とはいうものの. :)
    – kanachan
    Aug 23 at 16:27

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