Words like "but" and "however" are useful for comparing things. But always using the same one or two words can get boring quickly, so it's useful to know more expressions with the same meaning.
This time, we'll introduce several alternatives you can use when making comparisons or highlighting differences between things. Learn them all to keep your conversations sounding more interesting and dynamic.
There are actually two different types of expressions we'll look at in this article. The first type is only used for making comparisons and showing contrast.
Most English learners will probably know at least one of these words. Both are used when you want to say that something is different from what was said earlier.
Of these two words, "but" sounds less formal. Also, "however" often indicates a stronger contrast or difference between the things that are being compared.
On the other hand
This expression is a strong way to show a clear difference between two things.
In contrast (to/with)
This expression sounds a bit formal, but you may still hear it used in daily conversations. Again, it shows a clear difference between two things.
"Whereas" is used similarly to "but," though it isn't quite as informal.
This is used in a similar way as "on the other hand."
The second type we'll look at are expressions that can be used for making comparisons as well as for talking about two actions or situations that happen at the same time.
"While" can mean "during the time something else takes place."
It can also be used to show a clear difference between two things.
In the first example below, "meanwhile" is used to indicate things happening together in time.
Its other usage is to show a strong contrast between two things.
(But) at the same time
This phrase is unique because it can connect two situations happening at the same while also showing a contrast.
It's always good to know different ways of saying the same thing — both for you to communicate effectively and to understand more of what others say to you.
There will likely be times in many conversations when two things are compared, so make sure you are prepared by learning these useful expressions. They will definitely come in handy when you need them!
This article was adapted from an original written by Tamaki Saito.