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Although and Though

Although and though

How do we use “although” and “though” in English?

Although and though – these are two words which share many similarities but also some differences. In today’s lesson, we are going to explain everything.

Let’s get started!

To begin, let us take a look at “though” in the following sentences.

  • We played badly, but it was a good game though. 
  • Think first, though, about your behaviour. 
  • We can’t see the concert tonight – but I wanted to go though!
  • Though I was upset, I managed to feel better later. 
  • Daniel’s class was not so great though he could still finish it. 
  • Though you made me pay there will be no hard feelings.

How can we know how to use the word “though” correctly? That’s what we will learn in today’s lesson. 

Let’s look at the first three sentences from before with “though”

  • We played badly, but it was a good game though. 
  • Think first, though, about your behaviour. 
  • We can’t see the concert tonight – but I wanted to go though!

“Though” functions as an adverb which we use to make what we are saying sound less strong or not so important. For example, if we repeat the previous sentences without “though”, the overall meaning is still correct, but just more direct and strong. That said, you should not use “though” all the time, only when you want something to sound less direct. 

Though, as an adverb meaning ‘however’ or ‘nonetheless’ to soften what you want to say

  • It’s a great day for our teams, and them, though.
  • I would like to say, though, that you haven’t got enough evidence for the case.
  • The funniest thing, though, is that you don’t seem to understand it.

More direct and stronger (without “though”)

  • We played badly, but it was a good game. 
  • Think first about your behaviour.
  • We can’t see the concert tonight – but I wanted to go!

So, we use “though” to soften what we want to express to sound a little less assertive or less strong. 

Important to note, that you do not have to use “though” all the time. Just use it when you feel the need. For example, 

With and without “though”

More direct and importantLess direct and important
It’s unfortunate because I wanted to see you.It’s unfortunate because I wanted to see you though.
More direct and importantLess direct and important
We have never been to Ireland.We have never been to Ireland though.

“Though” has another meaning

In our initial example from the beginning of the lesson, In the last three sentences, 

  • Though I was upset, I managed to feel better later. 
  • Daniel’s class was not so great though he could still finish it. 
  • Though you made me pay there will be no hard feelings.

Here, the word “though” works as a conjunction and not as an adverb.

Conjunctions are words that connect words or phrases. So, in these examples, we use “though” (which is functioning as a conjunction) to make one part of the sentence more important than the other part.

Let’s break down the previous sentences where “though” is functioning as a conjunction so you can better understand.

  • Though I was upset, I managed to feel better later.  

We use the conjunction “though” to say that “despite feeling upset”, “she still managed to feel better”, hence the most important part “feel better”. 

  • Daniel’s class was not so great though he could still finish it. 

“He could still finish it” is what’s important and happened despite “the class not being so great”. 

Lastly, in, 

  • Though you made me pay there will be no hard feelings.

We use the conjunction “though” to make the statement “you made me pay” less strong than “there will be no hard feelings”. So, we want to put emphasis on the desired statement “there will be no hard feelings”. 

Furthermore, you can also use “although” and “though” interchangeably when you’re using “though” as a conjunction. That is, when “though” is functioning as a conjunction, you can also use “although” – both mean the same!

However, “although” cannot equal “though” when “though” acts as an adverb, which we use to soften what we want to say.

For instance, you can say: 

  • Football is fun though = correct.

Here, “though” = adverb)

But you cannot say: 

  • Football is fun although = incorrect.

In this last case, we cannot use the conjunction “although” because we need an adverb, not a conjunction. So, “although” cannot function as an adverb, only as a conjunction. 

Although and though as conjunctions

  • Although he’s being dishonest about the case, we’re going to have to side with him.
  • Though I was born in Canada, I still retain my American citizenship.
  • We would love to see you this weekend, though we’ll only be able to stay for a short time because we’re busy.
  • I’ll come around tonight, although I’m feeling a little sick.

Lesson summary of “though and “although”

Let’s just quickly summarise what we have learned in today’s lesson. 

We can use “though” as an adverb to kind of soften what we say, and we can use “though” or “although” as a conjunction to make a part of a sentence more important than the other part.

Although and though, both function the same as conjunctions and can be used interchangeably without issue. ‘Though’ is also an adverb.

Remember, conjunctions connect clauses, sentences, and words. Also, common conjunctions in English are: and, because, or, nor etc.

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