'yet' human activities are .... [although? despite?]

Ciarle

Senior Member
Catalan
Earth is the only place we know of in the universe that can support human life. (1) ... human activities are making the planet less fit to live on.

gap 1 could be yet / although / still / despite


  • *The answer is YET.
    And I don't know why! Could you help me?
  • mmmm, I wonder why although and despite couldn't fit that gap. MMM, i'm not sure if it's because the sentence finishes, so... it would be like..
    despite humans activits are makin gthe plantes less fit to live on.... i mean, if it was despite or although.. it wouldn't be okay because the sentence would need something more, like for example
    despite humans activits are making the plantet less fit to live on, there are a lot of animals.
    But i'm not sure if my idea is good.
  • And I think that still isn't possible. I know this one :)
 
  • Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    You are right about the reason although won't work. It introduces a subordinate clause, so you would need a main clause ~ 'more words', as you say.

    Despite would be a preposition in this use, and so would be followed by a noun, not a clause. So it could be, as you say:
    Despite the fact that human activities are making the planet less fit to live on, there are a lot of animals.
    As Audiolaik and ianmill say, we do use yet as an adverb, introducing an idea that contrasts in some way with the preceding statement.
     

    Matching Mole

    Senior Member
    England, English
    Audiolaik's definition is a very useful one, which I think demonstrates the appropriateness of the word here. I don't think but is an adequate synonym here, as the kind of exception it makes is rather too general.

    Despite can be dismissed on grammatical grounds: Despite human activities are making the planet less fit to live on is ungrammatical. Despite must be followed by a noun phrase (or pronoun), not a finite verb clause. You would need to insert "the fact that" or "this": we cannot use it on its own.

    It is trickier to explain why still and although are inappropriate due to meaning. Although expresses a reservation, which is not intended here. Still seems closer, but it isn't quite right. It's hard to explain, but I think it implies that the uniqueness of Earth is the reason why human beings are making it an unfit place on which to live, and it is not.

    I imagine, though, that the exercise does not allow you to add punctuation to make the word fit, and both these would need to be followed by a comma. The same would apply to nevertheless. Yet is fine on its own.
     
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