Words and phrases for demonstrating contrast
When you’re developing an argument, you will often need to present contrasting or opposing opinions or evidence – “it could show this, but it could also show this”, or “X says this, but Y disagrees”. This section covers words you can use instead of the “but” in these examples, to make your writing sound more intelligent and interesting.
17. However 然而，但是
Usage: Use “however” to introduce a point that disagrees with what you’ve just said.
Example: “Scholar A thinks this. However, Scholar B reached a different conclusion.”
18. On the other hand
Usage: Usage of this phrase includes introducing a contrasting interpretation of the same piece of evidence, a different piece of evidence that suggests something else, or an opposing opinion.
Example: “The historical evidence appears to suggest a clear-cut situation. On the other hand, the archaeological evidence presents a somewhat less straightforward picture of what happened that day.”
19. Having said that 除……之外，即便如此
Usage: Used in a similar manner to “on the other hand” or “but”.
与on the other hand 或者 but用法类似。
Example: “The historians are unanimous in telling us X, an agreement that suggests that this version of events must be an accurate account. Having said that, the archaeology tells a different story.”
20. By contrast/in comparison 通过比较
Usage: Use “by contrast” or “in comparison” when you’re comparing and contrasting pieces of evidence.
Example: “Scholar A’s opinion, then, is based on insufficient evidence. By contrast, Scholar B’s opinion seems more plausible.”
21. Then again 那么，问题又来了
Usage: Use this to cast doubt on an assertion.
Example: “Writer A asserts that this was the reason for what happened. Then again, it’s possible that he was being paid to say this.”
22. That said 也就是说，即便如此
Usage: This is used in the same way as “then again”.
Example: “The evidence ostensibly appears to point to this conclusion. That said, much of the evidence is unreliable at best.”
Usage: Use this when you want to introduce a contrasting idea.
Example: “Much of scholarship has focused on this evidence. Yet not everyone agrees that this is the most important aspect of the situation.”
Adding a proviso or acknowledging reservations
Sometimes, you may need to acknowledge a shortfalling in a piece of evidence, or add a proviso. Here are some ways of doing so.
24. Despite this 尽管如此
Usage: Use “despite this” or “in spite of this” when you want to outline a point that stands regardless of a shortfalling in the evidence.
Example: “The sample size was small, but the results were important despite this.”
25. With this in mind 考虑到这一点
Usage: Use this when you want your reader to consider a point in the knowledge of something else.
Example: “We’ve seen that the methods used in the 19th century study did not always live up to the rigorous standards expected in scientific research today, which makes it difficult to draw definite conclusions. With this in mind, let’s look at a more recent study to see how the results compare.”
26. Provided that 如果，倘若
Usage: This means “on condition that”. You can also say “providing that” or just “providing” to mean the same thing.
Example: “We may use this as evidence to support our argument, provided that we bear in mind the limitations of the methods used to obtain it.”
27. In view of/in light of 鉴于，基于……
Usage: These phrases are used when something has shed light on something else.
Example: “In light of the evidence from the 2013 study, we have a better understanding of…”
28. Nonetheless 尽管如此
Usage: This is similar to “despite this”.
Example: “The study had its limitations, but it was nonetheless groundbreaking for its day.”
29. Nevertheless 尽管如此
Usage: This is the same as “nonetheless”.
Example: “The study was flawed, but it was important nevertheless.”
30. Notwithstanding 尽管如此
Usage: This is another way of saying “nonetheless”.
Example: “Notwithstanding the limitations of the methodology used, it was an important study in the development of how we view the workings of the human mind.”
Good essays always back up points with examples, but it’s going to get boring if you use the expression “for example” every time. Here are a couple of other ways of saying the same thing.
31. For instance 举例来说
Example: “Some birds migrate to avoid harsher winter climates. Swallows, for instance, leave the UK in early winter and fly south…”
32. To give an illustration 为了阐明……
Example: “To give an illustration of what I mean, let’s look at the case of…”
When you want to demonstrate that a point is particularly important, there are several ways of highlighting it as such.
33. Significantly 值得注意地，现住地
Usage: Used to introduce a point that is loaded with meaning that might not be immediately apparent.
Example: “Significantly, Tacitus omits to tell us the kind of gossip prevalent in Suetonius’ accounts of the same period.”
34. Notably 值得注意地
Usage: This can be used to mean “significantly” (as above), and it can also be used interchangeably with “in particular” (the example below demonstrates the first of these ways of using it).
Example: “Actual figures are notably absent from Scholar A’s analysis.”
Usage: Use “importantly” interchangeably with “significantly”.
Example: “Importantly, Scholar A was being employed by X when he wrote this work, and was presumably therefore under pressure to portray the situation more favourably than he perhaps might otherwise have done.”
You’ve almost made it to the end of the essay, but your work isn’t over yet. You need to end by wrapping up everything you’ve talked about, showing that you’ve considered the arguments on both sides and reached the most likely conclusion. Here are some words and phrases to help you.
36. In conclusion 作为结论
Usage: Typically used to introduce the concluding paragraph or sentence of an essay, summarising what you’ve discussed in a broad overview.
Example: “In conclusion, the evidence points almost exclusively to Argument A.”
37. Above all 毕竟
Usage: Used to signify what you believe to be the most significant point, and the main takeaway from the essay.
Example: “Above all, it seems pertinent to remember that…”
38. Persuasive 有说服力的
Usage: This is a useful word to use when summarising which argument you find most convincing.
Example: “Scholar A’s point – that Constanze Mozart was motivated by financial gain – seems to me to be the most persuasive argument for her actions following Mozart’s death.”
39. Compelling 令人信服的
Usage: Use in the same way as “persuasive” above.
Example: “The most compelling argument is presented by Scholar A.”
40. All things considered 在考虑到所有状况之后
Usage: This means “taking everything into account”. Example: “All things considered, it seems reasonable to assume that…