Albeit - Grammar

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by paul castle, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. paul castle Junior Member

    spanish and catalan
    Hello everyone,

    I would like to know if i have used the word 'albeit' correctly. It is in a syllabus for a course, so I understand that I can use this such formal expression.
    If you do not mind to tell me if the sentence is also understandable, that would still greater.

    The sentence is:

    "Albeit these theoretical questions, the journey offers the possibility to experience in fiction what in reality is too hard to suffer".

    Thank you very much,
    Paul
     
  2. chamyto

    chamyto Senior Member

    Burgos, Spain
    Spanish
    Hola, ¿qué quieres expresar en español? Gracias.
     
  3. paul castle Junior Member

    spanish and catalan
    Algo así como:

    "A parte de estas cuestiones teóricas, el viaje ofrece la posibilidad de experimentar en la ficción aquello que en la realidad sería demasiado duro de vivir"

    Muchas gracias a ti,
    Paul
     
  4. chamyto

    chamyto Senior Member

    Burgos, Spain
    Spanish
    No me cuadra, puesto que (si no me equivoco) "albeit" es más bien similar a however o yet.
     
  5. Biffo Senior Member

    England
    English - England
    "A parte de estas cuestiones teóricas..." ---> "Apart from these theoretical issues..."

    No tiene nada que ver con 'albeit' :(
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2013
  6. inib

    inib Senior Member

    La Rioja, Spain
    British English
    It's not a word I use much, but I think its use is restricted to working as a conjunction. You would need a preposition before a noun phrase like "these theoretical questions". Otherwise you could rephrase the whole sentence. If you really want to say "aparte de", apart from has the same meaning in English.
     
  7. paul castle Junior Member

    spanish and catalan
    sí, la idea era utilizar un adversativo, pero cuando he tenido que traducir la frase en español, me he dado cuenta de que era más sencillo como propone Biffo.

    Muchas gracias de nuevo,
    Paul
     
  8. Quique Alfaro

    Quique Alfaro Senior Member

    Santa Fe, Argentina
    castellano
    Hola:

    Sería algo como "No obstante estas cuestiones teóricas...", creo que albeit puede caber.
     
  9. chamyto

    chamyto Senior Member

    Burgos, Spain
    Spanish
    ¿Y entonces cómo quedaría la frase completa? Gracias.
     
  10. cal aggie

    cal aggie Senior Member

    USA - English
    "Albeit" means about the same thing as "although." One way to put "albeit" into a sentence like this, if that what you really want to do, is to say "...the journey offers the possibility to experience, albeit only in fiction, things that are too hard to live through."
     
  11. Sprachliebhaber Senior Member

    USA English
    "Albeit" (like "although") requires a clause: for example "albeit these are theoretical questions. (In cal aggie's sentence, "albeit only in fiction", the repeated verb "offers" is understood: "albeit/although it offers the experience only in fiction".)

    From the explanation in #3 the intended meaning was "apart from these theoretical questions, ...", and "albeit" does not fit.
     
  12. FromPA

    FromPA Senior Member

    Philadelphia area
    USA English
    "Albeit" sounds strange to me in an introductory phrase because it's usually used to provide a contrast or clarification to something you just said. It's usual meaning is "although" or "even though" (aunque).

    Here are some examples from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

    • She appeared on the show, albeit briefly. (...although briefly)
    • It was an amazing computer, albeit expensive. (...although expensive)
    • … living a modest life as an editor wasn't as appealing as living in the grand style, albeit as someone else's valet. (...even though/although it would be as...)

    In all 3 examples, the meaning is "although," but you can change the sentences around to express the same idea with "however" (no obstante):
    1. She appeared on the show; however, it was a brief appearance.
    2. It was an amazing computer; however, it was expensive.

    You cannot substitute "albeit" for "however" in these sentences, just as you cannot substitute "however" in the first set of sentences (without changing the meaning, that is).
     
  13. Quique Alfaro

    Quique Alfaro Senior Member

    Santa Fe, Argentina
    castellano
    Hola:

    Some examples I found with Google. Maybe they are all wrong.

    Albeit all this, a woman does not give up. She's not weak.

    Albeit all these hardships, his wife Gloria, still manages to keep her good virtuous.

    Albeit all this purpose of the adversary, did nothing prevail, against the holy and constant servants of Christ.

    But albeit all this we have never opposed any genuine efforts towards self-regulation.

    Albeit all this, we will not let this immoral behaviour stand in the way of achieving what is best for the people through the honest and sincere political powers,
     
  14. Biffo Senior Member

    England
    English - England
    I would say that they are all incorrect except the third example. The others would be better with "notwithstanding" or "despite".
     
  15. FromPA

    FromPA Senior Member

    Philadelphia area
    USA English
    I agree, except I can't figure out the meaning of the third example.
     
  16. Sprachliebhaber Senior Member

    USA English
    Even the third example should use "despite", "notwithstanding" or the like. "Despite all these intentions (efforts) of the adversary [Satan?], nothing prevailed against the holy and constant servants of Christ".
     
  17. Biffo Senior Member

    England
    English - England
    You have to look carefully at the context and the history.

    John Foxe was writing in the 1500s. The origin of the phrase is as follows:

    albeit (conj.) late 14c., a contraction of al be it "al(though) it be (that)."

    In all the other examples it would make no sense to substitute "albeit" with "although it be that". In Foxe's case it is possible to make the substitution and still make sense.

    And if the saints did seem never so little to do what the enemies would have them, they were made much of; albeit all this purpose of the adversary did nothing prevail against the holy and constant servants of Christ Notwithstanding of the weak sort innumerable there were which for fear and infirmity fell and gave over, even at the first brunt.


    And if the saints did seem never so little to do what the enemies would have them, they were made much of; although it be that all this purpose of the adversary did nothing prevail against the holy and constant servants of Christ Notwithstanding of the weak sort innumerable there were which for fear and infirmity fell and gave over, even at the first brunt.


    Note that the punctuation is modern and varies from one transcription to another. It cannot solely be relied on to make sense of the piece.
     
  18. Sprachliebhaber Senior Member

    USA English
    Some sources give a somewhat different version of the etymology: al (all) + be it (though it be). (Incidentally, the plural form is 'albethey'.)
     
  19. Sprachliebhaber Senior Member

    USA English
    Correction: in my statement in #11 I should have said the sense of the sentence needs a verb, and 'albeit', unlike 'although', could not introduce the resulting clause, so the sentence would need to be "although these are theoretical questions...".

    As the author of the thread explained, he wanted to say "apart from these theoretical questions...", a different meaning.
     
  20. Cenzontle

    Cenzontle Senior Member

    English, U.S.
    All of FromPA's examples from the Merriam-Webster dictionary sound grammatical to me.
    Those three examples put "albeit" before, respectively,
    (1) an adverb ("briefly"),
    (2) an adjective ("expensive"), and
    (3) an adverbial phrase ("as someone else's valet").
    In each case, "albeit" could be replaced by "although" (meaning "although it was...").
    But not every "although" can be replaced by "albeit".
    "Although" frequently introduces a clause, but "albeit" before a clause sounds wrong to me.
    All the examples that Quique Alfaro found with Google put "albeit" before a noun phrase, and they all sound wrong to me.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2013
  21. Cenzontle

    Cenzontle Senior Member

    English, U.S.
    I originally was going to recommend that English-learners avoid using "albeit",
    because I thought it was an "obsolescent" word.
    But according to the Google Books Ngram Viewer, it is enjoying a resurgence.
    If you accept the Viewer's default dates 1800-2000, "albeit" has never been more popular than it is now (in the millions of published books that have been digitized for the project).
    But if you set the beginning date of your search at, say, 1500, then you find "albeit" was hugely more frequent in the 17th century.
    But caution! The creators of the Viewer acknowledge that far fewer books were published before 1800,
    and this fact may distort or magnify the frequencies of expressions in the early books.
    In any event, I can still say with some confidence that "albeit" belongs mainly to formal written language, and is rare in spoken language.
    How is it used, grammatically?
    I observed, in my earlier posting, that it introduces only modifiers: an adjective, an adverb,
    or a phrase (often a prepositional phrase) with adjectival or adverbial function—not clauses or noun phrases.
    I consulted the C.O.C.A. for more examples and found this statement mostly confirmed.
    Where it does introduce a noun phrase, it is to repeat the noun with a new modifier, as in these examples:
    • "we're taking a step, albeit not a huge step"
    • "...a standing army, albeit an army without weapons."
    • "...using her affiliation with another community, albeit a virtual one."
     

Share This Page