use of albeit

Discussion in 'English Only' started by tantan, Dec 12, 2006.

  1. tantan Member

    Hello native speakers,

    Do you think 'albeit' can be used like below, or does it sound a little funny?
    "albeit with some delay, I am pleased to confirm..."

    Is there a rule about it, say, to be used only in front of adjectives or something like this... because it sounds ok to me to say "my confirmation albeit illegible is on time"..but the above does not sound right. Or am I imagining?

    thank you in advance for clarifying this tiny little detail for me:)
  2. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I think both examples are fine - with commas around albeit illegible in the second sentence.
    As a personal prejudice, albeit looks funny so I don't use it.
  3. Vikorr Senior Member

    Australia, English
    Your sentences are fine. That said, the word 'albiet' is an odd one in english.

    Albeit is one of those words in english that rarely needs to be used. If it's used, it tends to be in a self depreciating way (ie people are making light fun of something).

    So, in the first sentence...many people would leave 'albeit' out. They'd just clear their throat and say 'With some delay...'.

    The second sentence - by saying 'albeit illegible' you are stating a fact, that would probably be interepreted as criticism of yourself (or whoever wrote it)...whereas if you said (in a light tone of voice) 'albeit somewhat illegible' you'd be making light of the writing (either yourself, or whoever wrote it).
  4. tantan Member

    Panjandrum, Vikorr,

    Many thanks for your kind clarifications!
    It's nice to take part in this forum:)

  5. ammar_gh New Member

    Syria, Arabic
    dear friends, native or non native english speakers,

    i couldn't find the meaning of albeit in the dictionary, niether in wordreference, so i aske you kindly to clarify the meaning of this word, because i couldn't also understand the examples mentioned above...
    thank you in advance,
  6. GEmatt

    GEmatt Senior Member

    La Côte, Switzerland
    English/BE, Français/CH, Deutsch/CH (rustier & rustier)
    I'm surprised it isn't in the WR dictionary, ammar. Perhaps it'll appear there soon, but in the meantime, this link will take you to a definition.

    Welcome to WR!
  7. tantan Member

  8. ammar_gh New Member

    Syria, Arabic
    I would like to thank you very much dear friends,
    i've got the meaning, it's really important for me because i'm reading a scientifical essay (publication), and i need the meaning to understand an important idea in this essay.
    alo i would like to thank you for welcoming.
  9. river Senior Member

    U.S. English
    Abeit meaning "though" is used predominately "to introduce concessive phrases": This is the most respected, albeit the smallest, medical school in the country; This sounds like a plausable, albeit unconfirmed, explanation.
    Source: Garner's Modern American Uage

    According to Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of English Usage, the word albeit has remained in style for centuries, with a "considerable increase" in use--in AE, at least-- since the 1930's.
  10. ammar_gh New Member

    Syria, Arabic
    many thanx dear River, your explanation of the use of ALBEI is really interesting, and understandable.
    it is the first time for me that i use WR to ask for information, and it was really useful for me.
    many thanx for all of you dear members of WR.
  11. Thomas Tompion Senior Member

    Southwest France
    English - England
    It's great to hear, Ammar, that you've found the forum useful. Please note that we write words out in full here - I was referring to thanks. For what it's worth, I don't share the distaste for the word albeit that some others seem to feel - it's useful and succinct.
  12. Sedulia

    Sedulia Senior Member

    Paris, France
    **Literate** American English
    I believe there is a difference in using "albeit" between American and British English. In Britain, the use of "albeit" to mean, basically, "although," is not only tolerated but apparently encouraged in schools. This means that "albeit" is often a natural usage in Britain.

    In the U.S., on the other hand, it has an obsolete flavor and it is often used by people who don't quite have a good grasp on the language. I'm prejudiced against it and prefer "although." However, in the two examples cited by river, "albeit" sounds fine to me.

    I classify "albeit" with "thus" and "nevertheless." Don't use it unless you don't have to ask how to use it.
  13. elliest_5 Senior Member


    I have another question about the use of albeit:

    I've noticed that it is usually followed by an adjective/adjectival phrase (as in the examples given in this thread: "albeit cold", "albeit the smallest", "albeit illegible") and I was wondering if this means that it sounds less natural with a verb/gerund phrase such as:

    You can change the colour, albeit bearing in mind that the new colour shouldn't be...

    So, does this phrase sound alright (I m particularly interested about Br.Eng.)?
  14. Thomas Tompion Senior Member

    Southwest France
    English - England
    I'd say not, in BE. It's fine with adjectives, but I don't like it with nouns and verbal nouns.
  15. elliest_5 Senior Member

    I see, thanks for the quick response :)

    Actually, I was going for something more formal than "although" in that I have any other options?
  16. Thomas Tompion Senior Member

    Southwest France
    English - England
    Yes, the best is to use nothing, to say:

    You can change the colour, bearing in mind that the new colour shouldn't be...
  17. Transfer_02 Senior Member

    Espoo, Finland
    English - British
    Just been reading through this thread - which has been very useful, thanks to all.

    I just thought I would add something (maybe stating the obvious but it might be useful for non-native speakers): while albeit is rarely used in spoken English due to its very formal register, it is not uncommon in written English.

    And whereas although is commonly used at the beginning of a sentence, albeit is more likely to be found introducing an adverbial/noun clause in the middle or at the end of a sentence.

    Another option is despite its being.

    Now for a question. When albeit introduces a noun clause, am I right in thinking the noun has to be SINGULAR? I've tried making up some sentences with albeit + plural noun and they don't sound quite right. Wiktionary says there is a plural form albethey, but I have never seen it used.

    << Moderator's note: For discussion of albethey see:
    Albethey? >>
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 9, 2012
  18. Disneyesque

    Disneyesque Senior Member


    I got a new expression; Albeit. (Well, first I mistook it for Arbreit and passed, to be honest.) And dictionaries say that it is similar to the word 'though'.

    Can I replace every though in this instances I am giving, into albeit?;
    Though I knew that I did not fit on the dress, I just gave it a try.
    I love him, but he does not seem to meet my parents' expectation though.
    Though the jacket was expensive, I could not help taking it home.

    The reason why I am asking this question is that I met the sentences like
    'I delivered a speech, albeit briefly.' 'I cut into the road, albeit illegally.' (I just made them up)
    As such, all the examples I found was composed with 'Albeit+brief adverb' and tagged along at the very end of the sentence.
    If albeit is same with though, you cannot use it in this way, can you?

    Actually most of the phrases using albeit was similar to them, so I was so confused- dictionary said it is similar to though/although!

    Okay, here are some clear-cut questions to paraphrase;
    - Do you actually use Albeit in the place of Though, as the examples I mentioned very first?
    - Is 'Albeit+brief adverb' at the end the most common way to use the word Albeit? (or even the only way these days?)

    Always so grateful to this website and lovely users. Thanks in advance.

    P.S: I have read and am reading anybody interested please read this =)
    What I wanted to ask is quite different, I guessed..
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2012
  19. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    Another Country
    English English
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2012

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