You don’t need a comma af­ter al­though

The Punch - - ENGLISH CLASS - Akeem La­sisi la­sisienglish@gmail.com; 08163939335

Of­ten, cer­tain things hap­pen de­spite the fact that other things hap­pen or fail to hap­pen. no mat­ter what the cir­cum­stance, such things will oc­cur. Maybe it is the na­ture of life that, no mat­ter what fac­tors are con­stant, the el­e­ment of sur­prise will al­ways be there.

That is why words such as al­though, though and even though are usu­ally part of our con­ver­sa­tions. Whether in speech or writ­ing, we all use them. Can we thus ded­i­cate to­day’s les­son to sharp­en­ing the way we han­dle them?

In many con­texts, al­though, though and even though are

con­junc­tions. This means they fall among the part of speech that joins a part of a sen­tence to an­other. Of­ten, they are used to con­nect clauses or words within a sen­tence:

Al­though the Pres­i­dent is not around, gov­er­nance is go­ing on as usual.

Though the Pres­i­dent is not around, gov­er­nance is go­ing on as usual.

Even though the Pres­i­dent is not around, gov­er­nance is go­ing on as usual.

In the three sen­tences, the con­junc­tions help us to

es­tab­lish what looks like the con­trast or the sur­prise el­e­ment – the gov­ern­ment busi­ness is pro­gress­ing in the ab­sence of the Pres­i­dent. While the first part of each sen­tence is the sub­or­di­nate clause (which can­not stand alone), the sec­ond – gov­er­nance is go­ing on as usual – is the main clause, be­cause it has a com­plete thought and can stand on its own. Also, note that the or­der of the sen­tences can be re­versed, with the al­though-clauses com­ing first:

Gov­er­nance is go­ing on as usual al­though the Pres­i­dent is not around.

Gov­er­nance is go­ing on though the Pres­i­dent is not around.

Gov­er­nance is go­ing on even though the Pres­i­dent is not around.

Al­though, though are in­ter­change­able

As can be ob­served from the ex­am­ples above, the three con­junc­tions are in­ter­change­able. This means it is a mat­ter of choice, al­though an­other point will be raised on this later. It is at times ar­gued that though is less for­mal than al­though just as it is some­times ar­gued that it can­not be­gin a sen­tence. But ex­perts have largely been lib­eral about this reser­va­tion and no one is hanged for us­ing it ac­cord­ingly:

Though I will not stay long, I will be there by 12 pm.

I will be there by 12 pm though I will not stay long.

Some peo­ple also fear that there is tau­tol­ogy in even though. They ask why should they be used to­gether. But the ex­pres­sion is ac­cept­able in English as it is more of a mat­ter of em­pha­sis than any­thing else:

I will call you though you ought to know when it is time. (Cor­rect)

I will call you even though you ought to know when it is time. (Cor­rect)

No comma af­ter al­though

One of the points I want you to take away from to­day’s les­son is that you do not need a comma im­me­di­ately af­ter al­though, though and even though. The only comma you need is the one that sep­a­rates the en­tire sub­or­di­nate clause from the main clause. Well, you can also have it if you are list­ing some el­e­ments, as I did in this next sen­tence. So, note that al­though, though are in­ter­change­able. Un­for­tu­nately, some peo­ple in­jure the state­ment with the need­less comma:

Al­though, I don’t like eba, I was forced to take it daily. (Wrong)

Al­though I don’t like eba, I was forced to take it daily. (Cor­rect)

Even though, he is bril­liant his par­ents don’t treat him well. (Wrong)

Even though he is bril­liant, his par­ents don’t treat him well. (Cor­rect)

Don’t use but with al­though

Many peo­ple use but with al­though, though and even though. This is wrong; it is the real tau­tol­ogy we are talk­ing about. Both cat­e­gories of words are con­junc­tions and can ex­press the con­trast we are em­pha­sis­ing. So, us­ing them to­gether amounts to an overkill:

Al­though she does not like me, but she at­tended my wed­ding. (Wrong)

Al­though she does not like me, she at­tended my wed­ding. (Cor­rect)

She does not like me but she at­tended my wed­ding. (Cor­rect)

Though many of them promised to make life good for us but they are be­hav­ing as if they never said so. (Wrong)

Though many of them promised to make life good for us, they are be­hav­ing as if they never said so. (Cor­rect)

Al­though, yet and still

Log­i­cally, yet and still should have the same con­sid­er­a­tion as but as far as al­though etc. are con­cerned. The em­pha­sis they are sup­posed to be in­di­cat­ing is al­ready borne by the words. As a re­sult, many ex­perts do not en­cour­age us to use yet and still with al­though, though and even though. In pure gram­mat­i­cal terms, how­ever, the rule does not kick against it. Yet, my ad­vice is that you don’t need to com­bine still and yet with the con­junc­tions. I don’t.

Though can end a sen­tence

A ma­jor ad­van­tage that though has over al­though is that while both can start a sen­tence and can be used in the mid­dle of it, though can ap­pear at the end but al­though can­not:

It is a waste of time, al­though. (Wrong)

It is a waste of time, though. (Cor­rect)

His fa­ther be­came an­gry when she failed, al­though. (Wrong)

His fa­ther be­came an­gry when she failed, though. (Cor­rect)

In the state­ments above, note that we are no more deal­ing with a com­plex sen­tence. We only have a sim­ple sen­tence made up of just a main verb. This sug­gests that the char­ac­ter and func­tion of though have changed com­pared to when it func­tions as a con­junc­tion. It can also be used as an ad­verb. That is why al­though has no place in the struc­tures. for al­though to be rel­e­vant, there nor­mally has to be two clauses – one sub­or­di­nate, the other main. In­deed, though can be moved into the mid­dle of the sim­ple sen­tence while al­though can­not:

Last year, though, the town was de­serted. (Cor­rect)

Last year, al­though, the town was de­serted. (Wrong)

Pro­nounc­ing al­though

Well, I want you to also get the pro­nun­ci­a­tion of al­though right, es­pe­cially as it con­cerns the sec­ond syl­la­ble, though. The though is not to be pro­nounced as the -dow in win­dow or shadow. The phono­log­i­cal con­so­nant you have in (al)though is not d as in dose, dove or made. In­stead, we have /ð/ , as in this, that, within and with­out. for more on this, con­tact the phonol­ogy ex­pert near­est to you.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.