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The contrast relationship

Muhammad Ali is the name most people are familiar with, but his original name was Cassius Clay.

In this sentence, we use the conjunction ‘but’ to connect together two things we’re telling the reader. However, by using ‘but’ rather than ‘and’, we’re also telling the reader about a relationship between the two things. ‘But’ indicates that the second piece of information is somewhat contradictory or different to the first piece of information. In this sentence it’s telling us that although most people know the famous boxer as ‘Ali’, he also had a different original name. ‘But’ tells us that what comes after it is going to modify or give a different perspective on the first piece of information.

You can achieve a similar effect using ‘although’ instead of ‘but’.