和 means 'and', and so does 而. What is the difference between the two. I also know that 而 means 'but', and the second question is what is the difference between 而 and 但. Give me an example sentence, please.

  • 但 is a "stronger" but, 而 is a "weaker" but. Besides, 而且 means besides / furthermore / (not only ...) but also.
    – Stan
    Jul 27, 2013 at 14:21

3 Answers 3


When you use 而, you are always expressing some kind of adversative meaning weaker than 但. Most of the time they can substitute each other but not 100% certain.

Example 1: both are fine

这件事很难,而那件事很容易。 => This thing is difficult while that one is easy.
这件事很难,但那件事很容易。 => This thing is difficult but that one is easy.

Example 2: 而 is better here

他没有出国,而是留在了国内。 => He stayed in home country instead of going abroad.

Example 3: 但 is better

这杯水不甜,但富含营养。 => This cup of water is not sweet but full of nutrition.

The differencies are subtle, taste them in more practice.

It's clearer to distinguish 而 from 和. Remember 和 has no adversative meaning, and in most cases it connects objects:

Tom and Jerry are good friends.
Correct: 汤姆和杰瑞是好朋友。
Wrong: 汤姆而杰瑞是好朋友。


The corresponding is:


when they are used as conjunction. One want to give a comparison when he use 而.


和 and 而 can be substituted occasionally when 而 connects two adjectives or verbs, but it is not very natural. I'd think it is similar to the words "and" in English, or other European language. Some examples:



  • Can you tidy up your answer a bit? Get rid of the random punctuations; correct the misspellings and grammar; expand on your answer a bit more. Jul 29, 2013 at 22:45

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