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I am teaching a 16 year old Turkish girl english and I have come accross a problem. I know how to use although, though, even though, and however but I can't explain when and why we use these. Can anbody help me?
New Member04
I won't pretend that I can do justice to such a large subject. However, - - -

They all connect contrasting ideas. The "though" versions are called "subordinating," and "concessive," because they give one idea less importance than the other, or you're admitting (conceding) that the less-important thing is true or exists.

With "however," the ideas tend to be more nearly equal. It works something like "but." They may have all the moneybags, but we have all the brains. The two clauses describe equal but contrasting ideas. You could state the same two ideas without drawing attention to the contrast, by using "and" instead of "but," and by eliminating the "may." They have all the moneybags and we have all the brains.

Notice that when we substitute "However" for "but," we must use two sentences (or at least, a semicolon): They may have all the moneybags. However, we have all the brains. OR We, however, have all the brains.

++ Although they have all the moneybags, we have all the brains.
With this version, we admit (concede) that we have no money, but we assert that this idea is less important than (subordinate to) the idea that we are the smart ones.

They have all the moneybags, although we have all the brains. Now we are subordinating our own intelligence. We "concede" that we are the smart ones, but since they are the rich ones, our brains will do us no good.

Although introduces the idea which is deemed less important.

Notice that when we use "although," these contrasting ideas don't have to be expressed by clauses. His punishment, although brutal, was well-deserved. I guess you can do the same thing with "however," except it seems more like an adverb than a conjunction: His punishment, however brutal, was well-deserved. (I'd take that as "no matter how brutal.")

"Though" is lower register (less formal) than "although."

I believe "even though" is a more intense version of "although." It seems to reassure the reader that we mean what we say.

I refuse to marry him, even though I'd be rich beyond my wildest dreams. (in spite of the fact that)

Best wishes and good luck! - A.

++ Edit. I restored the original order of these clauses, to show that the sentence can begin with "although."

(one more) It looks to me as if the red team is going to win tonight, although I believe the blue team still has a chance.

It looks to me as if the red team is going to win tonight. However, I believe the blue team still has a chance.

The contrasting ideas in the two sentences are identical. Yet the use of "however" seems to express more optimism about the blue team, while "although" clearly downgrades their chances.
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Thank you so much for your quick response. You have been a great help to me. Again, thank you and take care. Julie
Anonymous:
Hey buddy,

All these words represent the same idea of contrast. However, I guess the use of those are more related to formalities matters than grammar itself. I am canadian and as for me I was wondering and I came to the conlcusion that all of the are used with the same idea, the structure of the sentences is different though. Her are some examples, I also included nevertheless, which is a more formal way of however.

Altough you use in the begining of a sentence, it contrats 2 clauses in the same sentence.
Ex; Although the company has done its best to overcome the crisis, it had to fire 25% of the employees.

You have the same idea if you use despite the fact that and in spite of the fact that

EX; Despite the fact that/ In spite the fact that the company has done its best to overcome the crisis, it had to fire 25% of the employees.

In both sentences the idea is exaclty the same, its just a matter of choise using although or in spite/despite.

Even though for me sounds like a stronger way of saying although.

However or Nevertheless you use between 2 sentences, wherein the second has an idea that contrasts with the first one. Nevertheless is more formal than however.

Ex: The company has done everything to overcome the crisis. However/Nevertheless it had to fire 25% of the employees.
The company has done everything to overcome the crisis. It had, however/nevertheless, to fire 25% of the employees.

The idea is slighly different here for me when we use howver compared to although. Here we have an idea that what's more important is that the company did everything it could but as it wasn't enough, it had to fire employees.
When we use although, sounds like it's more important the fact that the company had to fire the employees, like the company did everything it could but even so it had to cutback employees.

You must pay attention that however/nevertheless either starts the second sentence, which in this case you use coma right after it or it comes right after the subject of the second sentence, in this case it comes between comas.

Though is used in the end of the second clause.

The company has done its best to overcome the crisis, it had to fire 25% of the employess though.
The company has done its best to overcome the crisis but it had to fire 25% of the employees.

Anyways, I think that for a foreigner whos learning English the differences in use of conjunctions is not so important once you can express the same ideas we have here using but. Conjunctions must be taken into consideration if you're writing formal texts and stuff. Me myself rarely use however,like any native English speaker we tend to use though or but in spoken language.

Hope this is gonna help you bud.
Hi, Anon, not sure if you're addressing Julie or me. I think we agree on all of these issues. Best regards, - A.
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Anonymous:
Just tell me that when we can use Although,though,even though,and however i know they give one meaing when we can use these one thing mor these are what adverb or somthing els
Anon,
there are all used to mention a fact that makes another fact seem surprising, unusual, etc.

Example: Although I have been learning English for 10 years, I can't speak any decent English. (<-- the fact you can't speak English well after such a long time is kind of surprising, isn't it?)

And read this thread again, in case you missed something important. There is a lot of useful information.
My dictionary says they are "conjunctions".
Hope that answered your questions. Emotion: smile
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Anonymous:
I know this question was posed a few years ago, but I just ran across this issue myself so I thought I'd share how I handled it. The rest of the responses on this page give a pretty good explanation of where to place the transitions, but my students had a problem deciding which idea should get the conjunction. I started off by explaining these conjunctions join two ideas that are opposite or opposing, but still both true. The lesser idea should get the conjunction because it opposes the 'main' idea.

My first example was: John is tall. John doesn't like basketball. Some of them wrote, "Even though John is tall, he doesn't like basketball." Some of them wrote "John is tall, even though he doesn't like basketball."

I asked them which idea is surprising or unusual- that he is tall or that he doesn't like basketball. They all agreed on the latter. I asked why it was unusual. "Tall people generally like basketball." So, I reasoned that the fact that he didn't like basketball was slightly more important than the idea that he is tall.

That didn't really convince them, though. So I used this example: I just ate lunch. I'm still hungry. Which idea is slightly more important: the fact that I just ate, or the fact that I'm still hungry? Most of them agreed that the fact that I'm still hungry is more important, so the sentence should read: Even though I just ate, I'm still hungry.

I used one more example: We had a picnic outside yesterday. It rained yesterday. I asked them, "When it rains, do people usually go outside to have a picnic?" They all said, "No." "So, which idea is more important- the fact that it rained, or the fact that we still went outside for a picnic?" This time, all of them agreed on the latter and made the correct sentence: Even though it rained yesterday, we had a picnic.

Hopefully this will help anyone else who comes across this lesson! Cheers.
Anonymous:
we use them to show contrast.

i played football yesterday although it was rainy. Fardy
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