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Even though vs. Even if

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by effeundici, Feb 19, 2009.

  1. effeundici Senior Member

    Italy
    Italian - Tuscany
    Ciao Tempesta (widely used nick for people whose surname is "Tempestini" down here),

    puoi dirmi qual'è la differenza per te tra "even though" e "even if"?

    Grazie e ciao
     
  2. TrentinaNE Senior Member

    USA
    English (American)
    "Even if" implies that the speaker doesn't know whether you've read it or not. "Even though" is used when the speaker knows you did not read it.

    Elisabetta
     
  3. Londoner06

    Londoner06 Senior Member

    London, UK
    US/English, Spanish
    I think maybe this would explain it better:

    'even though' would imply that the person did not read the text.

    'even if' would imply that the person may or may not have read it.

    Sorry Trentina, did not see your post :)
     
  4. effeundici Senior Member

    Italy
    Italian - Tuscany
    I see.

    So, let's try:


    Anche se ==> even if
    Sebbene, nonostante ==> even though

    But I admit that colloquially:

    "Sebbene non abbiate studiato" can be said "Anche se non avete studiato"


    So the sentence "Anche se non avete studiato, vi perdono" could be translated both to "Even though you did not study, I forgive you" and "Even if you did not study, I forgive you".

    Actually before this post, this difference was not so clear in my mind. Probably this means that Italian is a bit tricky in this case.

    Am I right, native italian friends??

    P.S. Thinking harder, I think that when we mean "Even if" we stress a bit more the word "Anche"

     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2009
  5. francescazzurra Senior Member

    Genova, Italy
    Italian
    I completely agree effe11, It's quite tricky. I never thought about it. I think one can spot the difference in the way the person says the words "anche se" and the context, too.
     
  6. tempesta1980 New Member

    English - American
    Grazie di nuovo. Mi chiamo Storm in realta ma il nome utente era gia preso.

    Quindi mi chiamo Tempesta.
     
  7. Necsus

    Necsus Senior Member

    Formello (Rome)
    Italian (Italy)
    That topic has been discussed HERE too from post #10...
     
  8. wonderment Senior Member

    English
    effeundici, the distinction is so subtle for your specific example. Both ‘even if’ and ‘even though’ can be synonyms for ‘despite the fact that’ (nonostante, literally ‘notwithstanding’).

    "Even though you did not study, I forgive you." = Despite the fact that you did not study, I forgive you.

    "Even if you did not study, I forgive you.” = Despite the possiblity that you did not study, I forgive you.

    In terms of nuance, I’d say that ‘even if’ is more charitable than ‘even though’. My forgiveness is not conditioned on your studying. I forgive you unconditionally. The forgiveness is more grudging with ‘even though’, I think. And of course, there are other distinctions as already pointed out by Trentina in post #2 and in the post Necsus linked to.
     
  9. effeundici Senior Member

    Italy
    Italian - Tuscany
    Ciao,

    so, given this:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/grammar/learnit/learnitv122.shtml

    it seems to me that you too are slightly forgetting this distinction; isn't it?

     
  10. Einstein

    Einstein Senior Member

    Milano, Italia
    UK, English
    Search "Even if" for another thread on this subject.

    Sorry, here it is!
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2009
  11. tempesta1980 New Member

    English - American
    This is another irritation I have with this language. Even if and even though express different ideas. This subtlety is lost with 'anche se'.

    I think I'll use 'anche se' for 'even if' and the others that take subjunctive for 'even though'. I'll see how that works.
     
  12. Einstein

    Einstein Senior Member

    Milano, Italia
    UK, English
    If you look here you'll see that in Italian the difference is clear from the verb forms used. The problem is more for Italians in deciding whether to use "even if" or "even though" in English.
     
  13. brian

    brian Senior Member

    Montréal
    AmE (New Orleans)
    I agree with Einstein (in the other thread), Elisabetta, et al., that even if implies uncertainty (or a hypothesis) and even though/although implies certainty, but I also have to agree with wonderment that there exists a separate, very subtle difference in meaning that even if can have.

    It's used even when there is certainty--even though, as said above, even if should imply uncertainty--in order to minimize the effect/impact that the implication of certainty would have on what was being said.

    Let me rephrase: it's a way of not sounding so certain, so as to lighten the blow.

    Example: a wife accidentally sells away one of her husband's records at a garage sale:

    Husband: Look, don't worry about it, I forgive you.... even if it WAS my favorite record...

    Stress on "was." And the sentence kind of trails off, but it's complete. If he had said "even though/although," it might invite a response from the wife.
     
  14. Einstein

    Einstein Senior Member

    Milano, Italia
    UK, English
    Yes, I agree with Brian that in some cases "even if" can be used where the rules given here suggest "although". Probably the psychology behind it is to soften the "although" with a note of uncertainty, even if :D in reality we are certain.
     
  15. brian

    brian Senior Member

    Montréal
    AmE (New Orleans)
    Couldn't have said it better!
     
  16. wonderment Senior Member

    English
    I didn’t forget :) This BBC webpage, unfortunately only discusses half the meaning of ‘even if’ and blithely ignores the other half.:rolleyes:

    ‘even if’ has two possible meanings:
    1. despite the possibility that; whether or not:
    Even if he had not studied, he could still pass the easy exam.
    ('even if' indicates a hypothetical)

    2. despite the fact that; although:
    She enjoys reading Shakespeare, even if it’s difficult.
    (I have no problem using sebbene or nonostante to translate ‘even if’ here)
    The BBC webpage deals only with meaning #1. Their examples are skewed to show only this meaning, but I’ll add a third example to show that meaning #2 is also possible:
    3. Even if I’ve cleaned and polished it, it still doesn’t look new.
    (Here, ‘even if’ can be interchangeable with ‘even though’)

    3. Even if he lost his job as Arts Minister, he continued to serve in the government.
    (Here, ‘even if’ can be interchangeable with ‘even though’)

    Anyway, effeundici, the example that you gave ("Even if you did not study, I forgive you.") seems to me closer to definition #2; in this case, 'even if' can be interchangeable with 'even though'. A hypothetical would look more like this: "Even if you had not study, I would forgive you."
     
  17. brian

    brian Senior Member

    Montréal
    AmE (New Orleans)
    This is a really difficult subtlety to understand, especially because there are a lot of cases where even if sounds bad and you should definitely say even though. I find it hard to explain when it works and when it doesn't, so I would definitely encourage non-natives to always use even though to mean "despite the fact that" and even if to mean "even in the case that."
     
  18. effeundici Senior Member

    Italy
    Italian - Tuscany
    Ciao Wonderment,

    I meant "you are forgetting" as english speaking people, actually.

    But I'm even more convinced now. You say that :

    3. Even if he lost his job as Arts Minister, he continued to serve in the government.
    (Here, ‘even if’ can be interchangeable with ‘even though’)

    So the situation is the same as in Italian. You can use "sebbene" and everything is clear; but you can use "anche se" too and everything gets confused. Am I right or not?
     
  19. brian

    brian Senior Member

    Montréal
    AmE (New Orleans)
    No, it's not the same, and please don't think it is! :)

    The whole reason Einstein opened that other thread is that Italians continue to say "even if" (where in Italian they'd say "anche se") and it continues to sound unnatural and non-native.

    There are some cases in which you can say "even if"--but not always--and honestly I cannot think of a rule for when and when you can't.

    That's why I said above that it's best to always say "even though" or "although" when the meaning is "sebbene" because 1) it will always be correct, and 2) it does not sound as formal as "sebbene" in Italian; it sounds perfectly natural and colloquial.
     
  20. wonderment Senior Member

    English
    Hi again, effeundici! Yes, I would agree with you. In English, if you use 'although' the meaning is clear, but only by context can you determine if 'even if' means 'whether or not' or 'although'. And I'd like to emphasize again that 'even if' actually has two possible meanings (definition with examples in post #16), just like 'anche se' (if I understand you correctly).

    In general, I think it's safe when translating 'anche se' from Italian to English to use 'even though' if in context 'anche se' also means 'sebbene' (as in your example: "Anche se non avete studiato, vi perdono." = "Even though you did not study, I forgive you.") If 'anche se' does not mean 'sebbene' in the Italian context, then use 'even if'. (I could be wrong, so feel free to correct me.) :)

    ------
    EDIT add: example from Einstein's thread...

    "Paul is afraid to swim in the ocean, even if he is able to swim."

    The meaning is perfectly clear if one uses 'although' to translate 'sebbene'. But I see nothing wrong with using 'even if' here in place of 'although'. This is like the example: "She enjoys reading Shakespeare even if it's difficult." 'even if' does not necessarily introduce a hypothetical (i.e 'whether or not'/'anche nel caso che'). Meaning is context dependent.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2009
  21. effeundici Senior Member

    Italy
    Italian - Tuscany
    I will use "even though" and "even if" according to your suggestions!

    But I can't really use "sebbene" in spoken language!! It would be too clumsy!!!

    Is it possible that you use "even if" instead of "even though" only when the sentence can't be ambiguous??

    Even if he lost his job as Arts Minister (first part could be ambiguous) (could be: "he actually lost" or "In the case he looses")

    but:

    he continued to serve in the government ==> makes everything clear. It can be only: he actually lost his job and keeps serving!

    Otherwise it would have been:

    Even if he lost his job as Arts Minister, he would continue to serve in the government.


    Can you understand what I mean??
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2009
  22. wonderment Senior Member

    English
    From The Oxford American Dictionary entry for ‘even if’:
    I'm not sure, but let me try to rephrase, and you can tell me if I completely missed the mark... Yes, I think that in contexts that are unambiguous, ‘even if’ can be used to mean ‘despite the fact that’, for example:

    “He continued to serve in the government even if he lost his job.”
    The past tense of the main verb makes it clear that ‘even if’ means ‘despite the fact that’. The event happened in the past, so by now we know that he lost the job. Substituting ‘just supposing’ would not work here. Of course, it would sound more natural to use ‘even though', but ‘even if’ is not wrong.

    More examples (a couple from Einstein's thread, and a couple I added to show how 'even if' can be synonymous with 'even though'):

    “We'll go to the sea even if it rains.”
    (even if = ‘despite the possibility that’—We don’t know if it will rain at the time of departure.)

    “Let’s go to the sea even if it’s rainning outside.”
    (even if = ‘despite the fact that’—We know for a fact that it’s rainning at the moment.)

    "He doesn’t speak French even if he goes to France every summer."
    (even if = ‘no matter whether’—We have a hypothetical. Actually, I think 'despite the fact that' is also possible here.)

    “He can’t speak French even if he does go to France every summer.”
    (even if = ‘despite the fact that’—The fact is he does go every summer.)
    Anyway, I agree with Brian that the distinction is very subtle between ‘even if’ and ‘even though’, and that they are generally not interchangeable. Trentina, Londoner, and Einstein have offered good pointers for differentiating between the two. But my point remains: ‘even if’ can, in certain contexts, mean ‘despite the fact that’ (i.e. ‘even though’). :)
     
  23. tempesta1980 New Member

    English - American
    Great example. I think in this example, the husband could be using 'even if' to create an appearance of uncertainty out of respect. It is certain that it was his favorite record, but creating the air of uncertainty makes the situation seem less dire as in 'It's okay that it was my favorite record; no big deal... I guess'.
     
  24. Einstein

    Einstein Senior Member

    Milano, Italia
    UK, English
    Maybe there's an AE/BE difference here. Anyway, I subscribe to Brian's advice to the Italians, to avoid "even if" when it means "although".
     
  25. TrentinaNE Senior Member

    USA
    English (American)
    Here are my take-aways from this thread:
    • If you want to make it clear that what follows the "even" if something you know for sure, say "even though."
    • "Even if" is used when you don't know for sure, or (in some cases) where you want to obfuscate: you do know, but you're pretending or "softening the blow."
    The best example I've seen of the latter is Look, don't worry about it, I forgive you.... even if it WAS my favorite record...

    In this case, the person who threw out the record may not have known the record was actually his favorite. This situation itself is fraught with so much uncertainty -- and tension -- that "even if" just seems to go over more diplomatically. It's like asking "Would you mind holding the door for me?" when what you mean is "My hands are full, so get off your fat ass and be helpful for once!" ;)

    Elisabetta

    P.S. I agree with Einstein in Post #24 directly above.
     
  26. wonderment Senior Member

    English
    I think it could be also a generational difference. I certainly have heard it used as a kind of emphatic ‘although’, and not just to soften any blow. The example I gave from the OAD (New Oxford American Dictionary, 2nd Edition, c.2005) gives the ‘despite the fact that’ (i.e. ‘although’) meaning: “He is a great President, even if he has many enemies.” I don’t see any obfuscating or pretending here, and I doubt the prestigious academic Oxford University Press would record usage that is nonstandard and peculiar. I think we are all agreed on the question of translating from Italian to English. But it's also useful to know the full range of possible usage and meaning of 'even if', just as it is good to know that 'anche se' can mean 'although' (something I didn't know before this thread). :)

    -----
    ADD more examples of actual usage where context clearly indicates that 'even if' means 'even though' (without any obfuscating or pretending anything):

    “Life is sweet for 'Pav', even if he does leave a bitter taste in the mouth of some of his rivals.” (source)

    "Still funny even if he does eat cats" (source)
    ('he' refers to ALF, a TV sitcom character, a friendly extraterrestrial who eats cats)

    “Please i'm still confused if he likes me even if he does these stuff.” (source)

    “He's pretty supportive, even if he does raise an eyebrow from time to time...like when I switched to mama cloth.” (source)

    “WHEN TEAM SHORTBUS AND I WENT TO SCHOOL TOGETHER HE TOLD EVERYONE ABOUT THE TIME I **** MY PANTS IN SCIENCE CLbum. I DIDN'T MIND THOUGH BECAUSE TEAM SHORTBUS IS A REALLY COOL GUY EVEN IF HE DOES PICK ON ME.” (source)

    “if rhenquist could serve while hopped up on enough painkillers to take down a rhino i'm sure roberts will be a-ok, even if he does have to take seizure medicine.” (source)

    There are plenty more examples, of course, just Google. :)
     
  27. Einstein

    Einstein Senior Member

    Milano, Italia
    UK, English
    Well, I find these last examples more natural than the ones I didn't like in post 24.:)
     
  28. TrentinaNE Senior Member

    USA
    English (American)
    Tom, I'm not sure what you mean by "the opposite" of even though, but all your examples, seem like natural and good uses of even if, because there is uncertainty in each situtation. In fact, these are perfect examples of subjunctive usage. :)

    Ciao,
    Elisabetta
     
  29. wonderment Senior Member

    English
    'Even if' is also used in situations where there is certainty, and that does not automatically constitute unnatural or bad usage. :)

    How interesting :)... I chose those examples precisely because they follow the basic sentence pattern of this one from post 24:
    “He can’t speak French even if he does go to France every summer.” ("[main clause]... even if he does...")


    MORE EXAMPLES where the context clearly indicates that ‘even if’ means ‘even though’ (the situations are certain, and no obfuscation is involved):

    "Christophe had a great start this weekend with a strong qualifying heat and then a good race, even if he lost it due to some physical problem with the weather conditions." (source)

    "He wanted to make a difference. Even if he lost, if Atticus could make one person start thinking differently about racism, then he made a difference.” (source)
    (In To Kill A Mockingbird, Atticus lost the trial in which he defended a black man.)

    "The recent addition of artificial turf to the Jackson Academy football field has helped provide a good surface for outdoor activities, even if it has been raining, as does the adjoining track." (source)

    "Seems to stay dry most of the time as well, even if it has been raining." (source)

    "Another great shot even if it's raining." (source)
     
  30. brian

    brian Senior Member

    Montréal
    AmE (New Orleans)
    I'm sorry but I think a lot of those examples (and the ones in your other post) do not actually mean even though but rather even when. For example:

    Even if he lost, Atticus could... = Even when he lost, Atticus could...

    This could be translated with anche quando in Italian: Anche quando perdeva, Atticus poteva...
     
  31. Janey UK

    Janey UK Senior Member

    Norfolk, England
    Native speaker of British English
    This seems to sum it up for me too Elisabetta, and I also agree with Einstein in post #24.

    This is one of those areas where there is a clear distinction between what is acceptable in AE and what is acceptable in BE. AE uses 'even if' much more widely than BE, and the examples in #24 sounded completely wrong to my BE ears. Apart from the rare instances (such as the throwing out of the record) where obfuscation is required, I'd always use 'even though' to denote certainty, and leave 'even if' to the situations where there is still uncertainty and doubt as to the outcome.

    Just my 2 cents worth...
     
  32. Murphy

    Murphy Senior Member

    Sicily, Italy
    English, UK
    I was thinking exactly the same thing myself....except for the example re To kill a mockingbird, which I think is a straightforward conditional :)
     
  33. Janey UK

    Janey UK Senior Member

    Norfolk, England
    Native speaker of British English

    In this example, I'd probably have gone with 'despite'.

    Despite losing, if Atticus could make one person start thinking differently about racism, then he made a difference.
     
  34. wonderment Senior Member

    English
    I disagree. They follow the definition recorded by the OAD (New Oxford American Dictionary, 2nd Edition, c.2005): "despite the fact that" (which as far as I'm concerned is synonymous with "even though"). That sentence could be read as: "Despite the fact that Atticus lost ..." The sense is much more emphatic than the wimpy "Even when..." Despite the fact that he lost the case, Atticus still won in an important way because he made people think differently about racism. Substituting "even when" fails completely to convey the meaning of the sentence.
     
  35. Janey UK

    Janey UK Senior Member

    Norfolk, England
    Native speaker of British English
    I agree with the use of 'despite' here (see my post #33), but if 'even when' is too wimpy for your tastes, doesn't that also hold true for 'even if'? In my opinion neither 'even when' nor 'even if' sound particularly good here, and I'd go for the much stronger 'despite' or 'notwithstanding'.
     
  36. brian

    brian Senior Member

    Montréal
    AmE (New Orleans)
    Oh sorry, I didn't read the Atticus example in context until now. (Though I still think the some of the others do mean even when, for example "Seems to stay dry most of the time, even if [= even when] it has been raining.")

    The Atticus example is, as Murphy said, a pure conditional sentence because it is an answer to the question "Why, then, do you think he agreed to defend Mr. Robinson?" The answer cannot mean "Even though / Despite the fact that he lost..." because the answer, like the question, needs to refer to a hypothetical future: he agreed to defend Mr. Robinson because "even if he lost / were to lose..."

    These are really muddy waters here because English has mostly lost the distinction between past indicative and past subjunctive, so you can't tell the difference between if something happened/should happen/were to happen and if something happened/did happen.
     
  37. wonderment Senior Member

    English
    It sounds perfectly natural to my AE ears as meaning "despite the fact". As you've pointed out, it could well be the difference between AE and BE usage. I think that there could also be a generational difference. Perhaps it is only recently that this usage of 'even if' has gained enough acceptance to be recorded by the OAD. New usage is generally met with less resistance by the younger generation.
     
  38. Janey UK

    Janey UK Senior Member

    Norfolk, England
    Native speaker of British English
    I disagree that you can't use 'despite' here. Here is the passage in full:

    'Why, then, do you think he agreed to defend Mr Robinson?'
    A boy in the back raised his hand.
    'He wanted to make a difference. Even if he lost, if Atticus could make one person start thinking differently about racism, then he made a difference.'

    In my opinion, 'despite' functions perfectly here without obscuring the meaning:
    'Why, then, do you think he agreed to defend Mr Robinson?'
    A boy in the back raised his hand.
    'He wanted to make a difference. Despite losing, if Atticus could make one person start thinking differently about racism, then he made a difference.'

    If you wanted to retain the 'even if', the sentence would sound better if it were reworded as follows:
    'Why, then, do you think he agreed to defend Mr Robinson?'
    A boy in the back raised his hand.
    'He wanted to make a difference. Even if he were to lose, if Atticus could make one person start thinking differently about racism, then he would have made a difference.'

    Maybe I'm wrong, but this is what sounds natural to my BE ears! :) The third sentence ('even if he were to lose...he would have made a difference') is my preferred one.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2009
  39. wonderment Senior Member

    English
    I disagree. "Seems to stay dry most of the time, despite the fact that it has been raining" sounds more natural and makes more sense to me context-wise than "even when it has been raining". There is an implicit contrast between the dry ground and the recent rain, hence the adversative sense of "despite the fact".

    All your options sound natural to my AE ears as well. I prefer this one. For me, 'even if' is a fixed expression that can mean "despite the fact that". I read 'even if' as an adversative ("despite") expressing an antithesis between his losing and his effect on people's thinking, rather than as a conditional ("supposing that" or "whether or not"). :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2009
  40. brian

    brian Senior Member

    Montréal
    AmE (New Orleans)
    @Janey:

    Well, I guess I can't argue against your ears :) but the fact is that technically (grammatically or whatever) speaking, in general, even if he lost can mean either even if he did lose (= "despite the fact that he lost") or even if he were to lose/even if he should lose:

    A: You need to fire that lawyer.
    B: No. Even if he lost/did lose (= even though / despite the fact that he lost) this one case, he's still a damn good lawyer.

    A: How can you possibly be considering him for this case?!
    B: Because even if he lost (= even if he were to lose), it would still bring lots of publicity to our firm.

    The other difficulty is that this sentence is clearly a mix of two different constructions, no matter how you look at it:

    If Atticus could making one person... is clearly a standard conditional meaning "if Atticus were able/were going to be able to" (which is why I also take the first "if" clause to be the same), don't you agree? However, the second part of the sentence should be "then he would make a difference."

    If, however, the first "if" clause is, like you said, "despite the fact that" and if "then he made a difference" should not be "then he would make a difference," then I think the second "if" clause should be If Atticus made one person...

    Honestly, it's a bad sentence all together, in my opinion. :D

    -----

    @wonderment: the use of "even" in "even when" means "despite the fact that," just like it does in "even if." Here is an example:

    Even when you say you're going to do it, you never do! = "Despite the fact that you sometimes say..."
     
  41. Janey UK

    Janey UK Senior Member

    Norfolk, England
    Native speaker of British English
    Here we agree completely! :D

    Here I'd use 'even though / despite the fact' but not 'even if'. Using 'even if' adds uncertainty where none exists.

    Here I'd use 'even if he were to lose', but not 'even if'.

    As I said, that's the difference between BE and AE. The AE isn't incorrect, but it just doesn't sound right to my thoroughly English ears! :D And I gotta trust my own ears! :D :D
     
  42. TrentinaNE Senior Member

    USA
    English (American)
    Since this discussion seems to have gotten completely away from a connection between Italian and English, perhaps discussing even if/even though usage would be better served in the EO forum? :)

    Elisabetta
     
  43. wonderment Senior Member

    English
    For the purpose of translation, I think it’s important to know the complete meaning and usage of ‘even if’, not just the BE version. Let’s take a specific example of standard usage, taken from a mainstream newspaper:

    “Life is sweet for 'Pav', even if he does leave a bitter taste in the mouth of some of his rivals.” (source)

    The context makes it clear that ‘even if’ means "despite the fact" (nonostante) rather than "despite the possibility that" (anche nel caso che). If you have doubt, please read the article. (We know with certainty that Pav has ticked off some of his rivals: “Many still have an axe to grind against Pav." This is not a hypothetical.) I realize that this usage of ‘even if’ sounds “completely wrong” to many BE ears and to some AE ones, too. But that does not change the fact that this is now considered standard usage in AE by The Oxford American Dictionary. I don’t think English learners should look at this sentence and others like it and think: “This is totally wrong!” It’s not (at least not in AE). Nor should they insist that ‘even if’ can mean only anche nel caso che, and can be used only with situations where there is uncertainty and doubt. If they do, this sentence would indeed seem strange, and it shouldn’t. It’s standard AE, even if it’s not acceptable BE. :)
     
  44. Forero Senior Member

    Houston, Texas, USA
    USA English
    I consider this and the sentence about the President to be diplomatic.

    In the sentence with "even if ... does ...", the use of does tells us we do know.
     
  45. effeundici Senior Member

    Italy
    Italian - Tuscany
    I told you!! 20-30 years and you'll have forgotten the difference!!:):)

     
  46. wonderment Senior Member

    English
    Ooh, that’s very subtle—you’re the first to catch it. In that case, I don’t think diplomacy is a rare use of ‘even if’ at all. But not all non-hypothetical uses of ‘even if’ fall into this category, just to take two more examples, this time from The New York Times, a prestigious American newspaper:

    “But there is for Kazin a kind of beckoning sensuality to the search, even if it is hopeless.” (source)

    “While Ganesh is thought to be wise and strong, there also seems something benign in the look of his macabre body, even if he does ride around atop a rat.” (source)

    In both examples, ‘even if’ means "despite the fact" (nonostante), not "despite the possibility that" (anche nel caso che).

    ‘Although’ as defined by the OAD: “in spite of the fact that, even though”. So what you’re saying is: ‘even if’ = ‘even when’ = ‘despite the fact’ = ‘even though’. :) I’d say Va bene! but it’s not bene because in your example ‘even when’ means “whenever”, signaling a hypothetical. My examples in posts 16 and 29 are not hypothetical uses of ‘even if’.

    Just like anche se! :):)
     
  47. laurentius87

    laurentius87 Senior Member

    Turin, Italy
    Italian
    Secondo me in italiano la differenza si capisce dal contesto.

    Diciamo che più propriamente even though è sempre concessivo (benché/sebbene/nonostante...) mentre even if può non esserlo (anche se, nel senso di anche nel caso in cui, se anche, [anche] qualora). Personalmente per le concessive tendo a usare even though o although, quindi il problema non si pone spesso.

    Direi anche che in italiano anche se è una forma di registro più basso rispetto a sebbene, benché e così via.
     

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