Contrast linking words

Although using connectors to link our ideas is necessary to make our text richer and more coherent, it is necessary to know them well to be able to use them properly. That’s the reason why today I am going to focus on a group of connectors; those used to show contrast.

Connectors to show contrast are quite similar in meaning so they can be confusing.  In general terms, the most important difference is grammatical.

I would divide them into four meaning groups:

1

2

3

although

even though

though

in spite of

despite

even if

but

yet

however

nevertheless

while

whereas

Let’s imagine that we have to real facts:

  • It was raining heavily.
  • The concert was not cancelled.

We can link them using connectors from the groups above, but the meaning and form of the sentence will change:

  1. Although it was raining hard, the concert was not cancelled.5180651937_4f81640fc7_b.jpg
  2. Even though it was raining hard, the concert was not cancelled.
  3. Though it was raining hard, the concert was not cancelled.
  4. It was raining hard. The concert was not cancelled, though.
  5. Even if it was raining hard, the concert was not cancelled.
  6. In spite of the heavy rain, the concert was not cancelled.
  7. Despite the heavy rain, the concert was not cancelled.

Although, even though, though and even if can appear at the beginning of a sentence to to introduce a fact that seems to disagree with the main clause. They can be all translated as “aunque”.

Though can also appear at the end of a sentence to show contrast between the previous two statements. This use is informal.

In spite of and despite are used to introduce a noun phrase that contrasts with the main statement. Notice that both connectors must be followed by a noun, a gerund or a clause introduced by “the fact that ….”. They can be translated as “a pesar de”.

 

  1. It was raining heavily but the concert was not cancelled.
  2. It was raining heavily yet the concert was not cancelled.
  3. It was raining heavily; however, the concert was not cancelled.
  4. It was raining heavily; nevertheless, the concert was not cancelled.images

But and yet are used between two contrasting facts. In general, we do not use any punctuation marks, although a comma can sometimes preceded the connector. Yet is more formal than but. They can be translated as “pero”.

 

However and nevertheless are used between two contrasting facts. We usually use them after a comma, semi-colon or stop. Nevertheless is more formal than however. They can be translated as “no obstante”.

  1. While it was raining heavily, it was not too cold.
  2. Whereas it was raining heavily, it was not too cold.

While and whereas introduce two seemingly opposite facts that are true at the same time. They can be translated as “mientras que”.

Even though this explanation could have had more examples, I hope the meaning and usage of these connectors are clearer now.