kedo (けど) | Meaning and Examples [JLPT N5]

kedo (けど) | Meaning and Examples [JLPT N5]

けど (kedo) is a particle used to indicate contrast. けど can be translated as but or nevertheless.

けど is a common particle in Japanese. The use of けど in fact allows you to show contrast in an indirect way, without appearing rude.

けど is the most colloquial form of this expression. In fact, there are other more or less formal forms.

In this post we are going to see the various forms of けど, how they are used, and what meaning they convey, through real examples of their use.

Show contrast with けど

The main use of けど is to show contrast with what was said previously by ourselves or by the person we are speaking with.

In these cases けど is commonly translated as but, nevertheless, even if.

けど can follow nouns, verbs, and adjectives. When けど follows a verb or an adjective in "na" you need to add the copula だ:


Let's see an example of けど to express contrast:


I'm free this week, but I'm busy next week.

The most common use of けど consists in having the second part of the sentence to express contrast with what was said in the first part. The two parts of a sentence are separated by けど to show this contrast: (A), but (B).

As you can see from the example, けど is placed before the comma 、

Alternative forms of けど

As anticipated in the introduction, けど is one of the more colloquial forms of this particle. In fact, there are other more or less formal forms, suitable for different situations.

These alternative forms are (in order from the most colloquial to the most formal):

  • けど: More colloquial form
  • けども: The addition of the particle も emphasizes the sense of contrast; more formal than けど
  • けれど
  • けれども: Complete form of the expression (けど is a contracted form that originates from けれども)
  • が: Most formal form, often used together with to the polite form
The use of のだ / んだ allows you to emphasize even more the sense of contrast of the expression

けど at the end of the sentence

Sometimes you can find けど at the end of the sentence. This use allows you to be less direct in expressing an opinion.

Concluding a sentence with けど serves to avoid expressing a conclusion, leaving to our interlocutor the task of guessing what is not explicitly expressed in words.

In this usage けど translates as (A) but .... Let's also see an example here:


He is a good person but ...

In this example we don't want to directly express what we think. Using けど at the end of the sentence thus allows you to express contrast without being too direct or rude.

Asking a favor indirectly

This use of けど allows you to ask for a favor in formal situations without being rude. Let's see an example:


Excuse me but it's already time to close the shop.

For example, when we are talking to a customer it is rude to ask them directly to leave the shop. In these cases instead we use けど at the end of the sentence to leave implicit the favor we are asking: It's time to close ... (so you should go away).

けど at the beginning of the sentence

けど can also be used at the beginning of the sentence. In these cases, けど is used to explicitly indicate a contrast with what was said previously. Also here けど translates as however, nevertheless, but.


I'd like to have that car, but it's too expensive.

けど to make the sentence more polite

When we want to express our thoughts or rights, often the sentence could sound too direct and therefore rude. In Japanese you want to avoid being too direct even in these situations.

For this purpose another of the uses of けど allows you to make the tone of the sentence more polite.


I'm Tanaka, I have an appointment today for 6.


You know I'm studying now ...

Express feelings or complaining with けど

The sense of contrast expressed by けど allows you to use this expression even when we want to complain about something or express a strong emotion or surprise.

Complain with けど

Using けど to complain expresses the meaning of (A), but however (B), where (B) expresses some justification or complaint with respect to what is expressed by (A):


Well, I'm doing my best.


I've been waiting for an hour already though.

Expressing emotions with けど

けど also allows you to express your emotions. In these cases, けど always expresses the idea of ​​contrast, but in a positive sense: when we are surprised by something unexpected I thought (A), but (B)!.


Wow, that's delicious!

Introduce a new argument with けど

Also as a result of the meaning of contrast of けど, it is possible to introduce a new topic in a speech with this particle.

けど in this case it means The above is fine, but now what do you think about ....


About tomorrow, what time do we do for the appointment?


gokugoku appgokugoku blogjapanese newsletterjapanese grammarlearn japanese grammarstudy japanese grammarresources japanese grammarkedo in japanesewhat is kedo in japaneselearn kedo in japanesemeaning of kedo in japaneseexplanation of kedo in japaneseけど in japanesewhat does it mean けど in japaneselearn けど in japanesemeaning of けど in japaneseexplanation of けど in japanese

Learn something new Every Week 🇯🇵

Every week new ideas and explanations about the Japanese Language, sent directly to your inbox 📧