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  #21 (permalink)  
Unread Aug 15th, 2013, 03:39 am
Sue
 
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Default Re: conjunction

a) It would be more usual nowadays to use full stops rather than semi-colons. The use of semi-colons to divide main clauses, though still seen, seems to be dying out and often has an "old-fashioned" feel to it.
b) These are all concession markers in a clear context of concession. As I said above, concession conjunctions and adverbials express a change in the direction of the discourse - something unexpected in the second part given the logical conclusion you might draw from the first part. There is therefore always an element of "surprise" with concession. The degree has nothing to do with the connective but with the content of the text.
If you look again at my last post I said that yet was more "surprising than "but" in your example because with "but" it was unclear whether the speaker intended simple contrast or concession - from the content it could have been either. With "yet" there is no ambiguity as "yet" can only express concession, not contrast. By choosing a clear concession marker, the speaker is telling you that you should be surprised.
In my example, on the other hand, as the content is clearly concessive and there is no ambiguity, the listener automatically understands "but" as indicating concession, so that there is no difference in meaning between any of the sentences.
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  #22 (permalink)  
Unread Aug 16th, 2013, 03:51 am
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Default Re: conjunction

Hi susan,

According to your post, "When sentences are as short as this it's much more likely that they'd be combined into one longer sentence by using a co-ordinating or subordinatiing conjunction."

'Still' is an adverb, so it wouldn't be a good choice in the following short informal sentences instead of 'but' to express concession?

1.He is a doctor, but he is not kind.

2.He is poor, but he is happy.

3.She is naughty, but she is not happy.

4.Is she very powerful?
No, she's not, but she is really quick.

Thank you very much for your reply.
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  #23 (permalink)  
Unread Aug 16th, 2013, 04:46 am
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Default Re: conjunction

a) As still is an adverb it can't join clauses into a single sentence - only conjunctions can do that.
b) As before, your sentences are invented, uncontextualised and rather unnatural, so it's almost impossible to say what would be used. Most of them seem to be contrast rather than concession to me.
c) As I said before, still is more common in spoken English, where ideas are usually either co-ordinated or just juxtaposed. Here are some authentic examples of its use. + means there's a pause:

I'm sure there's some awful battle where we got er knocked about + but still I hope that's not a presage of what's gonna happen now

I'm getting old + yeah that's older + still yeah it's funny + you don't feel any older inside

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  #24 (permalink)  
Unread Aug 18th, 2013, 03:37 am
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Default Re: conjunction

Hi susan,

Many thanks for helping me with those questions.

This sentence is from my book:
"Although she is beautiful, she is not kind."

The question is I'm not sure if it is correct with 'although here.
There is no element of contradiction and surprise to the main clause. This is my opinion.

What would you think? Is it fine or not?

Thanks a lot.
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  #25 (permalink)  
Unread Aug 18th, 2013, 11:13 am
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Default Re: conjunction

As before - it is impossible to make this sort of judgement about a sentence unless you quote the full context. Isolated like that, I would agree - it's not a logical continuation. But put it into a context and it easily makes sense :

Context : A fantasy novel such as Game of Thrones. The King is looking for a wife and his courtiers are trying to convince him that their daughters would be ideal.
Courtier : Your Grace knows the Lady Alayne is beautiful, and her kindness is renowned...
King : Lord Owen - I fear you jest. Although the Lady is beautiful, she is not kind. Do not delude yourself that I have not heard tales of her behaviour towards the peasants of Derne
etc etc etc

I suspect though that you're confusing concession and contrast again. This seems to me to be more a case of contrast : statement of positive quality vs statement of negative quality (in the opinion of the speaker, obviously).
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  #26 (permalink)  
Unread Aug 19th, 2013, 02:58 am
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Default Re: conjunction

Hi susan,
Thank you for giving that example to show how although works in that situation.
The context is from my book:

T:Who is she?
A:She is my sister.
T:Is she a kind girl?
A:No, she is not. Although she is beautiful, she is not kind.

1.Does 'although' make sense here?
2.Is although used in informal and formal sentences?
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  #27 (permalink)  
Unread Aug 19th, 2013, 08:09 am
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Default Re: conjunction

1. The whole dialogue is so unnatural and stilted that it really doesn't make sense to ask whether it "makes sense". The use of full forms rather than contractions, the use of "she", asking if she's "kind" for no reason at all, the use of "kind" rather than "nice" - and various other things all make it totally unlikely as a conversation. The dialogue would go something like :

A : Who's that over there?
B : Who? The girl with Joe? That's my sister.
A : She looks rather nice.
B : Don't be fooled by appearances. She may be good-looking, but she's certainly not nice!
A : Oh - why?
etc etc

I can't get although into this conversation in any way that sounds natural. It's spoken, and subordinate clauses are much rarer in spoken English than co-ordinated clauses. That's the real problem - not the meaning of although but that it necessitates a complex sentence in a context where simple and compound sentences are the norm.

2. Although is neutral in style and can therefore be used in any context.
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  #28 (permalink)  
Unread Aug 21st, 2013, 03:02 am
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Default Re: conjunction

Hi susan,

1.Why is the relationship between these two ideas of your example concession not contrast?
Is this the reason as you said: B accepts that a negative trait exists but then changes direction to propose a positive trait?

A: I don't think Mary is the right person for the job.
B : Well, it's true that she isn't very kind - but she's quite smart.

2.Can although be also used for contrast?
This example is from online dictionary:
Although he is poor, he is honest.
Does 'although mean 'on the other hand here?

3.
Quote:
Quote susan53 View Post
Context : A fantasy novel such as Game of Thrones. The King is looking for a wife and his courtiers are trying to convince him that their daughters would be ideal.
Courtier : Your Grace knows the Lady Alayne is beautiful, and her kindness is renowned...
King : Lord Owen - I fear you jest. Although the Lady is beautiful, she is not kind. Do not delude yourself that I have not heard tales of her behaviour towards the peasants of Derne
etc etc etc
Does "although" express concession or contrast in the context?

4.I'm confused about what you said: Although is neutral in style and can therefore be used in any context.
Does it include spoken contexts?

5.Does rather mean a little in you example: She looks rather nice.

Thank you very much.
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  #29 (permalink)  
Unread Aug 21st, 2013, 04:31 am
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Default Re: conjunction

1/2/3. There's a grey area in the middle of concession and contrast - which is why a lot of accounts lump them together. These are typical examples.

4. Yes. Whether the discourse is spoken or written, the style may change. Spoken language may be formal (eg some speeches), neutral (eg a conversation with a doctor), or informal (eg chat between two friends). Written language may be formal (eg a legal document), neutral (eg these messages), or informal (a quick e-mail message to a close friend.) So while it's true that features such as subordinate clauses are less common in spontaneous spoken English than in written language, it's a matter of frequency, not an absolute.

5. No - it's somewhere on the scale between quite and extremely.
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  #30 (permalink)  
Unread Aug 23rd, 2013, 03:29 am
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Default Re: conjunction

Hi susan,

1.According to your comment: "asking if she's "kind" for no reason at all, the use of "kind" rather than "nice"

Could you please explain why 'nice' is the right choice rather than 'kind' in the conversation?

2.
Quote:
Quote susan53 View Post
1/2/3. There's a grey area in the middle of concession and contrast - which is why a lot of accounts lump them together. These are typical examples.
Do you mean they can express either contrast or concession in the examples here?

Thank you very much for your reply.
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  #31 (permalink)  
Unread Aug 23rd, 2013, 04:41 am
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Default Re: conjunction

1. Nice is a general evaluation meaning "pleasant to be with"; kind has the specific meaning of "not hurtful to others" and tends to describe behaviour rather than the person themself. It would mainly be used to describe specific instances of behaviour :
A) She said I looked fat and ugly.
B) That wasn't very kind.

2. As I said, your example was so unnatural that it's impossible to say what it is. Forget it - choose authentic examples to analyse.

Last edited by susan53 : Aug 24th, 2013 at 12:55 am.
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  #32 (permalink)  
Unread Aug 24th, 2013, 04:22 am
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Default Re: conjunction

Hi susan,

So, It doesn't sound natural to ask if someone is kind or not for no reason. Could you give an example of 'Is John/Mary kind?' which might fit in a context?

Thanks a lot.
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  #33 (permalink)  
Unread Aug 24th, 2013, 04:41 am
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Default Re: conjunction

No, can't think of one. Sorry. It sounds too unnatural.
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  #34 (permalink)  
Unread Aug 25th, 2013, 02:28 am
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Default Re: conjunction

Hi susan,

Is 'while' formal or informal when it means 'on the other hand'?

Would while sound natural in your example instead of but?
A : Are oranges usually cheap here?
B : Usually, yes - but/while they're more expensive at the moment 'cos they're out of season.

Thank you very much.
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  #35 (permalink)  
Unread Aug 25th, 2013, 04:17 am
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Default Re: conjunction

You've used while incorrectly. It's a subordinating conjunction like although and not a co-ordinating conjunction like but. So there must be a main clause attached :

We rarely eat oranges in the summer months. While/Although they cost hardly anything from November to April because they're locally grown, the price rises steeply between May and October, when they have to be imported.

While/Although history is really my favourite subject, I know that as a degree it wouldn't be much use for getting a job.


In style, it's neutral. But as I said before, co-ordination is much more common in spoken English than subordination, so it is rarer in spoken English. But because of the subordination, not because of the word itself. When it does occur, it therefore tends to occur in situations where the speaker is taking a long turn (speeches, radio interviews etc) rather than in social conversation. Here's an example :

While I sympathize with the caller from West Calder, I feel we pay poll tax as well to cover all these things...

Last edited by susan53 : Aug 27th, 2013 at 04:08 am.
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  #36 (permalink)  
Unread Aug 27th, 2013, 04:22 am
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Default Re: conjunction

Hi susan,
Quote:
Quote susan53 View Post
We rarely eat oranges in the summer months. While/Although they cost hardly anything from November to April because they're locally grown, the price rises steeply between May and October, when they have to be imported.

While/Although history is really my favourite subject,
Hi susan,
I knowthat as a degree it wouldn't be much use for getting a job.

[/i]
1.Can I change your examples into the ones like these:

We rarely eat oranges in the summer months. While/Although the price rises steeply between May and October, when they have to be imported, they cost hardly anything from November to April because they're locally grown.

History is really my favourite subject, while/although I know that as a degree it wouldn't be much use for getting a job.


2.Do while and although mean on the other hand in your examples here?

Thank you very much for your help.
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  #37 (permalink)  
Unread Aug 27th, 2013, 05:13 am
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Default Re: conjunction

1. a) Yes. b) Yes, though while is less likely here as this seems to be spoken English, and if subordination is used at all in spoken English although is more likely to occur in initial position than while.

2. Yes

I think this thread has more or less run its course, don't you? There's nothing much more to say and it's getting repetitive. I think you'll find answers to any further questions you have if you read through the past posts. Or maybe someone else has something to add?
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  #38 (permalink)  
Unread Aug 28th, 2013, 12:23 am
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Default Re: conjunction

Hi susan,
I really appreciate your great help. You've been so helpful!
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