But links two contrasting ideas. It is normally used at the beginning of the sentence.
– Many people argue that TV is bad for you, but I disagree with this.
However can come at the beginning or end of a sentence. It must be separated off by commas.
– The advert claimed that there were huge discounts for students. However, the discount was only 5%.
– I love travelling. I don’t enjoy long flights, however.
Although, even though, though
These expressions introduce a subordinate clause of contrast. If the subordinate clause comes first, it is separated from the main clause by a comma.
– Although he practised every day, he didn’t manage to improve.
– I walked home even though it took me two hours.
Note: though can be used after a comma at the end of a separate sentence that express something surprising.
– We lived in the middle of a city. We still had a large garden, though.
Whereas and while are used to compare two things and show how they are different.
– She likes football whereas I prefer tennis.
– My sister is very like my father while I take after my mother.
While is also used in the same way as although.
– While computers are important, we shouldn’t let them rule our lives.
In spite of (the fact that), despite (the fact that)
These expressions must be followed by a noun or -ing form. Despite is slightly more formal.
– In spite of the fact that they are expensive, many people want to buy designer clothes.
– Despite all the research that has been done, we still haven’t found a cure for cancer.
In fact, the fact of the matter is
This is used when you are saying what the real truth of a situation is.
– According to the brochure, the service is free for students. In fact, students are charged at the same rate as everyone else.
On (the) one hand… On the other hand…
These expressions are used to introduce an opposite point in a discussion.
– (On the one hand,) if I take job in Milan, I’ll be able to go to the opera. On the other hand, if I take the job in Barcelona, I’ll be able to go to the beach.
This is used to say what will happen if something else does not happen first.
– You have to choose your holiday carefully. Otherwise, you could be disappointed.