My understanding of the conjunction "but" is that it should be used when the second part of a sentence rebuts the first. However, I often find myself using it when the second part isn't rebutting anything.


I'm not sure if you're around this Sunday, but I'm going to the baseball game if you would like to come.

In that example is it correct to use "but"? If not, then what should I use?

  • 1
    Semantically, you do have your rebuttal. Maybe that is clearer when you rephrase your sentence as You may not be here on Sunday, but I am inviting you anyway (even though you may not be there).
    – oerkelens
    May 4, 2016 at 12:34
  • No offence, but that example makes it sound a bit creepy. "but I am inviting you anyway" to me sounds like we're disregarding that other person's situation
    – MakkyNZ
    May 4, 2016 at 13:00
  • You are (partly) disregarding the person's possible absence by extending the invitation! That is exactly what you indicate with the but: you are aware he might not be there, but you still extend the invitation as if you simply assume he's available. Nothing creepy about it :)
    – oerkelens
    May 4, 2016 at 13:08

1 Answer 1


Yeah it's fine because you're drawing a contrast between the event at which the addressee would be present (and thus would need to be available), and your uncertainty about the addressee's availability.

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