What is the difference between allerdings, aber and jedoch? I looked them up in the dictionary and all three mean 'but'.
Could anyone tell me how they're used in a sentence?
Kein Unterschied hier:
Nur allerdings möglich:
The difference is function. All 3 can be a commentating adverb. This is the use that was examplified in the other answer.
Sentences like these will be translated using the English but. However, but is a conjunction so functionally it is NOT a translation. It only translates the idea. Closer translations when it comes to function would be however or though
Aber can also be a conjunction.
Jedoch as well... but it is not that common and you'd need to make a pause to make it clear.
Allerdings can't do that. So allerdings will always count as one position of the sentence. Also, as pointed out in the other answer it can also have an affirmative meaning and that is not the case for "jedoch" and "aber". So... all 3 words can mean but but but is neither the only nor the best translation for jedoch and allerdings.
All three have their own peculiarity. The following is about the usage as adversative conjunction. Note that they all somehow have a stressing effect since they introduce something like a oppositional causality.
Change the sentence and it's context, these connotations might blur away. It's just an attempt of characterization of slightly different connotations and it's very hard to exclude tone and context and just focus the conjunction itself.
As I understand it, there are two common uses of "allerdings"
1) It can be used in as a pointed confirmatory exclamation similar to the use of "of course" "indeed" or "certainly" in English. According to native German speakers I have conversed with, "allerdings" is employed most frequentely, though not exclusively, to convey a negative sentiment.
To all that people answer “Allerdings” all the time. Those are allerdings-moments.
2) It can also be used to emphasize a contrast, counterpoint or an exception to a statement that has been made. In other words, it can be used to qualify a statement or supposition (in German: Eine Aussage einschränken). In this sense it could be translated as "however" "although" "though" "admittedly" "in any case" "albeit" in English
Using user_unknowns examples.
I'm no expert, but still have learned a lot.
Change in focus. But no direct juxtaposition.
--> I'm no expert, however I have learned a lot. (and still might be able to help you.)
--> I'm no expert, though I have learned a lot. > Better as Though I have learned a lot, I'm no expert.
--> This means more. Even though I have learned a lot, I'm still no expert. I have got more to learn.
A clarification. I know a lot already, but still need to learn more.
Nur allerdings möglich: (Nope)