The particle が is the grammatically correct way to form a “but” in sentences.

旅行りょこうきたいですやすみがれません。
I want to go on holiday but I can’t take time off.
普段ふだん自炊じすいします今日きょう外食がいしょくしたいです。
Normally I cook myself, but today I want to eat out.
試験しけん勉強べんきょう大変たいへんです頑張がんばってください。
It’s tough studying for exams, but please do your best.
部屋へやひろくないです家賃やちんたかいです。
My room is not big, but the rent is expensive.

However, it is important to note that while が can also be used with standard form sentences (all the above sentences were in the polite form), it will only be used in formal text this way, e.g. a newspaper article. In conversation the particle けど is used instead.

さけめるけど普段ふだんはあまりまない。
I can drink alcohol but don’t do so that often.

Note: あまり is used with the negative to mean “not so much” or “not too often” etc.

あまり勉強べんきょうしなかったけど、なんとなく試験しけん合格ごうかくしたよ。
I didn’t really study, but somehow I managed to pass.
みせふくやすけどしつくない。
The stores clothes are cheap, but the quality isn’t good.

Note that the topic particle is used in the first clause in the last example. You may think we need to use が because we are connecting the noun (clothing) with the adjective “cheap” but then the topic of the sentence would be ambiguous (and would have readers wondering, “The quality of what is good?”

みせふくしつくないです。
As for that shop’s clothing, the quality isn’t good.

We can use けど can still keep the sentence in the polite form because the final ending of the verb carries the most weight as to whether the form is polite.

その番組ばんぐみ面白おもしろけど仕事しごといそがしくて時間じかんがありません。
That TV programme is funny, but I’m busy with work and don’t have time to watch it.

Note that for nouns and na-adjectives we need the standard form of the auxiliary verb.

あのひと会計士かいけいしけど数学すうがく得意とくいじゃないよね。
That person is an accountant, but he’s no good at maths, eh?
新幹線しんかんせん便利べんりけど、おかねがかかる。
The bullet train is convenient, but it’s expensive.
納豆なっとうきらいじゃないけど、めったにべない。
I don’t hate natto, but very rarely eat it.

Note: めった is used with the negative to express that you don’t do something very often. It has more emphasis than あまり.

In fact there are three other variations of けど: けれど, けども, and けれども. The nuance is broadly the same for all four and grammatical usage is identical. けど is the most commonly used.

成績せいせきわるくないけれど、もうすこ頑張がんばれる。
My grades aren’t bad, but I could try a little harder.
成績せいせきわるくないけども、もうすこ頑張がんばれる。
My grades aren’t bad, but I could try a little harder.
成績せいせきわるくないけれども、もうすこ頑張がんばれる。
My grades aren’t bad, but I could try a little harder.

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