Below are three formal and polite equivalents (synonyms) of 'but' which you can use in your business or professional pieces of writing.

The word 'but' is used to make a contrast between a situation ('it was raining') and what happened or will happen ('I went for a walk'). The word 'but' and its synonyms below are always used in front of the what happened or will happen (e.g. 'but I went for a walk'). This is different to another word used for making a contrast, 'although', which is always used in front of the situation instead (e.g. 'although it was raining').

To see the formal synonyms of 'although', click here.

However,

Is used in the same way as 'but', but it is generally followed by a comma and is normally used (but not always) at the beginning of a sentence to contrast what was stated/said in the previous sentence.

'We were able to identify a problem with a part in the machine. However, when we replaced it, it didn't resolve the problem the machine has had.'

Nevertheless,

Like 'however', it is generally followed by a comma. It is often used in both the middle of sentence (to connect the two parts/clauses) and at the beginning of a sentence to contrast what was stated/said in the previous sentence.

'The heating problems have been resolved in the building, nevertheless the heating will not be turned on until tomorrow morning.'

Nonetheless,

Is used in exactly the same way as 'nevertheless'.

'The heating problems have been resolved in the building, nonetheless the heating will not be turned on until tomorrow morning.'


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