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Sentence patterns: Contrast sentences

Aim: This exercise is to help you to use contrast clauses correctly.

Introduction:
You use contrast clauses when you want to make two statements, one of which contrasts with the other or makes it appear unexpected or surprising. Some contrast clauses – called concessive clauses – are introduced by conjunctions such as although, even though or while.

    Although Mrs. Sims had lived in Hong Kong all her life, she knew very little Cantonese.

    While the number of families with access to the Internet and cable television has risen sharply in the past decade, what tends to be overlooked is that a significant proportion of households are unable to afford the fees for these services.

Don’t use but in sentences beginning with although, even though or while. Here is a common mistake:

      Although Kelvin worked hard, but he failed the examination.

You can leave out the subject and the verb be in a contrast clause when the subject of the contrast clause and the main clause are the same (e.g. he was in the following sentence).

      Though / Although [he was] hard working, Kelvin failed the examination.

You will sometimes see the word albeit used in formal English. Albeit can come before an adjective, adverb, or adverbial phrase. In the sentence below, ‘albeit rather reluctantly’ means ‘even though she did so rather reluctantly’.

      Jayne participated in the charity walk, albeit rather reluctantly.

You can also use despite or in spite of to make a contrast. These are followed by either a noun phrase or an ‘ing’ form.

      Despite working hard, Kelvin failed the examination.
      In spite of his hard work, Kelvin failed the examination.

This sentence is incorrect:

      Despite he worked hard, Kelvin failed the examination.

If you want to follow despite or in spite of with a clause you must add the fact that.

      Despite the fact that he worked hard, Kelvin failed the examination.

The word yet has many meanings. One of these is a similar meaning to but, although it expresses more surprise about something unexpected. It can come between adjectives, adverbs or clauses. For example:

      He was poor yet generous.
      He worked slowly yet effectively.
      He loved animals, yet he hated snakes.

Exercise
Choose the correct word(s) from the drop-down lists:

  1. Although , .
  2. Answers:

    • Although the job market was quite tight last summer, Bill was still able to get a job soon after graduating.
    • Although Mandy knew that she had a considerable amount of relevant experience, the job surprisingly went to a junior colleague.
     

  3. , so .
  4. Answers:

    • Clara's aunt worked for HSBC, so she was able to learn a lot about the company before attending the interview.
    • Jessica's command of Putonghua was somewhat elementary, so she wasn't offered interviews with mainland companies.
     

  5. Because of .
  6. Answer:
    Because of the positive impression she made during her internship, Faye was promised a permanent job when she graduated.
     

  7. despite .
  8. Answer:
    Tom was offered a second interview despite having little first hand experience.
     

  9. Since .
  10. Answer:

    • Since Jessica's command of Putonghua was somewhat elementary, she wasn't offered interviews with mainland companies.
    • Since Clara's aunt worked for HSBC, she was able to learn a lot about the company before attending the interview.
     

  11.  but .
  12. Answer:
    Mandy knew that she had a considerable amount of relevant experience, but the job surprisingly went to a junior colleague.
     

  13. In spite of .
  14. Answer:
    In spite of impressing the interviewers with his qualifications and enthusiasm, Bob's lack of practical experience counted against him and he wasn't offered the job.

    Your score is

     

 

Last updated on: Wednesday, April 03, 2013