Anonymous asked in Education & ReferenceWords & Wordplay · 4 months ago

When people say 'yeah, but still' in an argument, what exactly do they mean?

23 Answers

  • Anonymous
    4 months ago

    they agree with you but trying to save face by inferring they were Right as well

  • 4 months ago

    It means two things, often regarding a subject that is viewed from different perspectives by one person:  'I agree with that' and 'I prefer this.'  Some may see it as broken English or a low-class form of speaking but if you think about it... all it's doing is removing any and all confusion on the issue from the mind of the one saying it AND clarifying it so no one else gets confused.  It's really kinda genius to speak that way. 

  • 4 months ago

    Does anyone else know anything about using or not using ( yeah but )? To me it seems that in certain situations yeah but is an appropriate response.

    My friend really really disagrees. He says that by saying yeah you are agreeing, then the but contradicts your agreement, putting people on the defensive.

    Any and all thoughts are appreciated. Thank you George Shaffer

    Strictly speaking, agreement is already implied in ‘but,’ otherwise, you would have just said ‘No.’ ‘But’ is pretty close to ‘Although,’ both an expression of acknowledgement, before you turn around to qualify it. So the ‘Yeah’ in front does sound a little extraneous to me.

    I tend to agree with RobertB. The “Yeah” or “Yes” preceding “but” is certainly not necessary, and is implied as acknowledgment when you start with “But” or “Although” or “Nonetheless” or “However”.

    However, in the spoken language, starting with “Yeah, but” or “Yes, but” is so common that you shouldn’t be getting corrected for using it. And that construction is NOT at all contradictory, as your friend claims.

    In formal writing it should never be used, except possibly when answering the writer’s own rhetorical question.

    Yeah does mean agreement but not necessarily total agreement. But comes along to mention some things that you may disagree about the premise.

    I agree that this phrase can be meaningful and useful but I have heard some who look for anything to disagree about and overuse the phrase simply to start an argument. Could your friend be seeing this in you?

    I also see it as common and acceptable. The yeah or yes serves to underscore the possible agreement. If agreement is clearly not implied, then the yeah or yes simply concedes the validity of the opposing point. In the case of disagreement it is softer then simply starting with but.

    A: I think John was in the wrong.

    B: But he was misled by Pat. [adding nuance; yeah, agreement may be implied, but complete disagreement is also possible] *

    B: Yeah, but he was misled by Pat. [adding nuance; agreement is more likely]


    A: I think we should get gas before we head out.

    B: But gas is cheaper if we wait till we’re in New Jersey. [no agreement implied; stating an opposing point] *

    B: Yeah, but gas is cheaper if we wait till we’re in New Jersey. [yeah affirms speaker A’s opinion before making an opposing point.

    Yeah, but I think the yeah adds value.

    It recognizes that your opinion is valued, and for the most part correct, before the but qualifies the agreement. It’s not starting an argument, it’s avoiding one, by stating something that the first speaker was probably thinking, but not stating.

    For instance, Einsteinian physics was a “yeah but” to Newtonian physics. Kids are still taught the mathematically-simpler laws of Newtonian mechanics, because they are easier to understand and they;re good enough for everyday situations, but they are warned that under certain conditions, the two sets of equations significantly diverge and Einsteinian mathematics better approximates reality. And today, we know that they are both wrong.

    The person who says this is putting YOU on the defensive, and where’s his apology or validation for that?

    Yeah [What you say seems to make sense as far as you’ve taken it], but [perhaps you have neglected to incorporate these other factors] makes perfect sense to me. Your friend may be right that the “Yeah” signals agreement, but it doesn’t exist in a vacuum – the “but” phrase qualifies the agreement, it doesn’t contradict it. Your friend just wants to have an argument and make it your fault.

    No one would ever say I’m ghetto, I’m educated in the field of English, and I use “Yeah, but…” as often as I feel it’s useful. Your friend needs to get out more.

    It occurs to me that the word ghetto, referring to people, is a rather bigoted term. Uneducated *and* ghetto are the two groups that use that term, he says.

    But he’d probably be offended if someone would call him ne kulturny because he doesn’t sound like a hillbilly, whose speech most closely resembles the King’s English of centuries past.

    The word ghetto is itself degenerate English, having been Jewish slums. I had it in my mind that the term originated in Warsaw, but I find that originally it was in Venice, and ghetto comes from the word for foundry, as the jews were segregated onto an industrial blackfield island. And when Elvis recorded his song, I heard lots of whining that ghetto really wasn’t where blacks live, and Elvis, a rich and talented hillbilly, but a hillbilly none the less, was illiterate, but Douglas Harper sdays that ghetto was used for black slums back in the 19th century.

    Which once again show to me that I’m pretty ignorant. A problem for those of us that know everything is that our knowledge is a mile wide, but barely an inch deep.

    Still, branding someone as being your intellectual inferior because of their economic status is foolish. The single greatest cause of poverty in this country is disability, and when a smart person becomes disaqbled, they tend to take advantage of the library as cheap entertainment, and they have too much time on their hands. I’ve found that they aren’t always right, but they’re almost always worth listening to, because they are well-read.

  • ?
    Lv 6
    4 months ago

    It means I haven’t listened to a word you said because I’m right do f@ck off!

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  • Anonymous
    4 months ago

    "Yeah you have a point but I don't care about it because what I said still matters"

    or sometimes, it can be less aggressive just meaning

    "Yeah you have a point, but what I said still stands"

    They are acknowledging what someone has said in response to them but are remaining in disagreement. Their mind has not been changed.

    Source(s): Life experience
  • 4 months ago

    it means 'I get it but what you did still matters' or I get where you  are coming from but my points still valid

  • Ludwig
    Lv 7
    4 months ago

    They mean 'notwithstanding'.

  • 4 months ago

    It depends, but the general idea is usually "sure, what you say/said is true, but this other thing is also something you have to consider and it leads to the opposite conclusion from what you would expect based on what you just said."

    Normally used to introduce a reason why, despite your statement of truth, the conclusion you are supporting is incorrect.  That is true, BUT so is this, and this truth negates the importance of your truth.  That is usually what people mean.

  • 4 months ago

    "Yeah, but" means they disagree.

  • 4 months ago

    It means something like: "OK you probably do have a point, but I think the issues are more complicated than that; how about considering some of the other points I raised?"

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