Is there any difference between “aber” und “sondern” (as “Konnektoren”)?
I’m trying to study and understand how to use aber und sondern (as “Konnektoren”). In my language (Italian) there is no difference in translation; both mean something like but.
I can say for example:
Ich muss in die Schule gehen, aber ich bin ein bisschen krank.
Ich spiele nicht Tennis, sondern ich spiele Fußball.
In these two examples (taken from my book), I don’t see any difference. Could I also use sondern in the first sentence and aber in the second one? Would that make a difference?
Note that "Ich spiele nicht Tennis, aber ich spiele Fussball" is grammatically correct and makes sense, too. Just a different sense.
Aber has the same meaning as however and the contradicted clause can either be positive or negative.
Sondern is used only when the contradicted clause is negative, in other words contains nicht or kein, and it can be translated as but rather or instead – but not instead of.