Although, though: Is there any difference?

Discussion in 'English Only' started by nicole0087, Aug 30, 2006.

  1. nicole0087 Junior Member

    chinese
    Hi, everyone,
    Is there any difference between "though" and "although"?
    I learnt it from my teacher that they have same meaning. Is that correct?
    Thank you!:)
     
  2. timpeac

    timpeac Senior Member

    England
    English (England)
    Often they are synonymous but at the end of a phrase you must use "though", though.:)

    When it appears in other positions in the sentence I find "though" to be of a higher register (and give it the subjunctive) -

    Though he were rich no one liked him.
    Although he was rich no one liked him.

    "Although" would be more usual here, I think.
     
  3. nicole0087 Junior Member

    chinese
    Thank you!
    But what is "a higher register" mean in your replay ?:confused:
     
  4. skatoulitsa

    skatoulitsa Senior Member

    California
    Greek, Greece
    That it would be too formal way of speaking.
     
  5. timpeac

    timpeac Senior Member

    England
    English (England)
    Well, not too formal, more formal.:)
     
  6. rafaelgan Senior Member

    U.S.A
    Spanish
    What is the difference between although and though?
     
  7. Greenvampirekilts

    Greenvampirekilts Junior Member

    Atlanta, GA, USA
    English United States
    I don't really know. I suppose they mean basically the same thing, except that you would say "even though" if you didn't say although. I'm just a native speaker, I don't know the technical terms for these things. :)
     
  8. pachomius

    pachomius Senior Member

    Virginia
    USA / American English
    The short answer is that they are interchangeable. Hundreds of years ago, "all though" was shortened to "although". It was meant as an emphatic version of "though". But the emphasis has long been lost. Now the distinction is mostly in the rhythm of what you're saying.
    This may be helpful:
    Usage Note: As conjunctions, although and though are generally interchangeable: Although (or though) she smiled, she was angry. Although is usually placed at the beginning of its clause (as in the preceding example), whereas though may occur elsewhere and is the more common term when used to link words or phrases, as in wiser though poorer. In certain constructions, only though is acceptable: Fond though (not although) I am of sports, I'd rather not sit through another basketball game.
    from The American Heritage Dictionary
     
  9. rafaelgan Senior Member

    U.S.A
    Spanish
    So, I can use both, just in some cases I just can use "though"?

    It's confusing, haha.
     
  10. pachomius

    pachomius Senior Member

    Virginia
    USA / American English
    Yes, you can use both. 'Though' should always work (I can't think of an example when it wouldn't!). 'Although' is almost always right, but just to be sure, I would use 'though' until you are comfortable with English.

    You're doing fine!
     
  11. chat9998 Senior Member

    Michigan
    English, US
    I would use although, though you could use though! Although they both have their advantages :) Seriously though, they're pretty much interchangeable (except in that sentence -> you can't say "seriously although") Confusing, indeed!
     
  12. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod

    Only "though" can be used at the end of the sentence, such as:

    "It was an enjoyable experience; I won't want to repeat it, though."
     
  13. rafaelgan Senior Member

    U.S.A
    Spanish
  14. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Urbana-Champaign, IL
    Am. English, Pal. Arabic (See profile)
    I don't think it was so much of a correction as a suggestion. Sometimes "although" sounds better even though "though" would also be correct.

    Nevertheless, I can think of at least one context in which "although" is almost always used - in informal contexts, when you pause at the end of a sentence, and then add an "although" clause as an afterthought.

    I don't really feel like going out to eat tonight. I'm very tired. [pause] Although I must say Chinese sounds really tempting.

    I highly doubt a native speaker would use "though" instead of "although" in a situation like that one.
     
  15. chat9998 Senior Member

    Michigan
    English, US
    I agree, many times although sounds better, but it is more of a "language feel" thing, than a rule. And Chinese does sound really tempting! ;)
     
  16. user_gary Senior Member

    India - Jharkhand
    India - Hindi
    Although I have completed it, I am not satisfied.

    Though I have completed it, I am not satisfied.


    Could anyone tell me what is the difference in the meaning of the above sentences?
     
  17. la reine victoria Senior Member

    They mean the same, user gary.

    LRV
     
  18. WongFeiHung

    WongFeiHung Senior Member

    USA English
    I would say that they are the same!
     
  19. user_gary Senior Member

    India - Jharkhand
    India - Hindi
    Thank you.
    So I have come into conlusion that (although/though) can be replaced all the time.

    Am I right?
     
  20. Thomas1

    Thomas1 Senior Member

    polszczyzna warszawska
    Although the meaning of them is the same in your sentences, I think though has got a broader usage, for instance you could slightly alter you senences adding even at the beginning, but then although wouldn't fit the bill.
    Even though I have completed it, I am not satisfied.


    Tom
     
  21. la reine victoria Senior Member

    Agreed!

    LRV
     
  22. Chazzwozzer

    Chazzwozzer Senior Member

    Istanbul
    Turkish
    When though is used in the middle of a sentence, a comma can go before it; but although never follows a comma.

    Also, you can say though at the end of a sentence, but not although.
     
  23. AWordLover

    AWordLover Senior Member

    Atlanta, Georgia USA
    USA English
    Hi,

    It lookes like "even though" and "although" are interchangable.

    "Though" makes me think someone is taking poetic license with "even though".
     
  24. Thomas1

    Thomas1 Senior Member

    polszczyzna warszawska
    No, I don't think so.

    There are some instances where only though would work, first example--see my previous post, second one when though is used as a part of as though synonymous to as if; It looks af though it's going to rain. Here although doesn't work.

    I can't think of examples in which although would work and though would not, though.:confused: :( Natives?


    Tom
     
  25. Chazzwozzer

    Chazzwozzer Senior Member

    Istanbul
    Turkish
    And also though as in "Hard though I studied, I failed." or "Patient though he is, he couldn’t bear the noise of the children." cannot be replaced by although, but as.
     
  26. Thomas1

    Thomas1 Senior Member

    polszczyzna warszawska

    I'm afraid this is not quite true, plaese have a look at a few examples picked up at random from a dictionary:
    We decided to take rooms in Longwood House, although we knew we could not really afford the rent.
    You can copy down my answers, although I'm not sure they're right.

    No, this is my responsibility, although I appreciate your offer.

    Source: Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English CD-ROM​
    © Pearson Education Limited 2003​
    Tom
     
  27. Thomas1

    Thomas1 Senior Member

    polszczyzna warszawska
    Interesting, does the meaning stay the same?


    Tom
     
  28. Malcius Senior Member

    English - England
    I suspect the usage may vary depending on whether you speak UK English or US English (and any other variants). As a UK English speaker I think I would mainly use "although" as a conjunction in the middle of a sentence or at the start a sentence but would seldom use "though" for this purpose. I don't think "although" can be used other than as a conjunction.

    In fact I think I would mainly use "though" at the end of a phrase as in James M's example ("It was an enjoyable experience; I won't want to repeat it, though.") or in the "even though", "as though" and the "Hard though I studied, I failed." or "Patient though he is, he couldn’t bear the noise of the children." ([adj/adv] though [noun/pronoun][verb], [new clause]) examples cited by others and probably other set phrases that I can't think of at the moment.

    What do other Brits and other English users think?

    Regarding the interchangeability of "even though" and "although" ("Even though I have completed it, I am not satisfied." "Although I have completed it, I am not satisfied."), I feel that "even though" places more emphasis on the circumstance (the fact that I have completed it) and "although" places more emphasis on the outcome (the fact that I am not satisfied). Alternatively, "Even though" may place more emphasis on the contrast between circumstance and outcome.
     
  29. Malcius Senior Member

    English - England
    Another thought: as suggested by timpeac with the comment about the subjunctive, "though" at the beginning of a sentence might be used to express uncertainty about the condition:

    "Although he works hard, they will never promote him"
    "Though he work hard, they will never promote him"
     
  30. AWordLover

    AWordLover Senior Member

    Atlanta, Georgia USA
    USA English
    I have been looking at the difference between though and although using http://www.americancorpus.org a 400 million word, balanced source, corpus of contemporary American English. This tool lets you see words in context and also get a sense of the frequency of use in different genres.

    Although seems to be used more frequently than though in academic writing.
     
  31. Eannes New Member

    Ireland, English
    “Though” is simply a less formal version of “although,” and it's in such common use that it's OK to use it in formal writing too. In fact, “though” came before “although.” In the 1300s, before “although” became one word, it was two words--“all” and “though”--with the “all” there to add emphasis to “though.”
    You can't always do the opposite and substitute “although” for “though” because “though” also has other meanings. Here are two examples where you couldn't make a substitution.
    She drank as though she was never going to drink again.
    I don't like black jeans; I like blue ones, though.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 13, 2011
  32. timpeac

    timpeac Senior Member

    England
    English (England)
    This is not true. You cannot substitute "although" for "though" in many situations - "though he be tall he is still a child" "I don't know what you're talking about, though". They are not pure synonyms.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2011
  33. NTV Senior Member

    Japanese
    May I ask why timpeac said, "This is not true"? Eannes said, “Though” is simply a less formal version of “although,” but he gave two example where we can't substitute “although” for “though.”
     
  34. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod

    If "although" were simply a more formal version of "though" you should be able to use them interchangeably. You can't. Timpeac's post demonstrates that they are not simply idifferent registers of the same word.
     
  35. jiamajia

    jiamajia Senior Member

    Mandarin
    A quick question: is the comma before the word 'though' always required in writing in such cases?
     
  36. owlman5

    owlman5 Senior Member

    Colorado
    English-US
    "Always" is a troubling word, Jiamajia. I sure use a comma as James did when I write "though" at the end of a sentence. Other writers may not follow this practice. To tell you the truth, I've never noticed people omitting it in their sentences.
     

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