Question What's the meaning of "but then"?

Discussion in '英語勉強フォーラム - Learning English' started by hirashin, Nov 3, 2018.

  1. hirashin

    hirashin Sempai
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    Hello, native English speakers,
    I have another little question. Would you help me?
    What's the meaning of "but then" in the following passage? What's the difference between "but" and "but then" in meaning?

    Those words made Uematsu very unhappy. But then he thought, “Well, the Wright brothers invented flying—and they never went to the top university in Japan!
     
  2. Michael2

    Michael2 Sempai

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    "But" is emphasising the contrast, and "then" is emphasising the next step in his thought process. His 2 actions (being unhappy and thinking) are not simultaneous, so "then" is necessary" and without "but" there is no contrast, but contrast is important here, to show that he was unhappy but then cheered up.
     
  3. mdchachi

    mdchachi Moderator
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    "but then" has a temporal characteristic.
    Consider the difference between
    I liked sushi but I didn't like uni. But then I tried some very fresh uni and I really liked it.
    and
    I liked sushi but then I didn't like uni. But I tried some very fresh uni and I really liked it.
     

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