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Lesson 8.2

Contrasting Information

Contrastar información
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As we learned in the previous lesson, linking words have various functions. In addition to adding information, they can also be used to contrast information or to present conditional statements.

Contrasting Ideas

The following linking words are used to present contrast between two ideas. When the linking word is used in between the two contrasting clauses, we must use a comma at the end of the first clause, before the linking word.

But

The most common word used for contrasting ideas, “but” is generally found in between the two contrasting ideas within a sentence and always follows a comma.

Example:

 There are signs that the economy is improving, but economists warn it will be several more years before the crisis ends.

Yet

Yet” is used in much the same way as “but”, though is generally considered more formal.

Example:

 There are signs that the economy is improving, yet economists warn it will be several more years before the crisis ends.

However

Generally found at the beginning of a sentence, “however” is more formal than ‘but’.

Example:

 There are signs that the economy is improving. However, economists warn it will be several more years before the crisis ends.

Although

This linking word can be used at the beginning of a sentence or between the two contrasting clauses.

Example:

 Although there are signs that the economy is improving, economists warn it will be several more years before the crisis ends.

Though

Like “although”, it can be used at the beginning of a sentence or between the two clauses.

Example:

 There are signs the economy is improving, though economists warn it will be several more years before the crisis ends.

Even though

Generally found at the beginning of a sentence, “even though” can also be used between two clauses.

Example:

 Even though there are signs that the economy is improving, economists warn it will be several more years before the crisis ends.

Despite

This linking word must be followed by a noun or a gerund (verb+ing). If we want to follow it by a clause (subject + verb), we must use “despite the fact that”.

Example:

 Despite signs that the economy is improving, economists warn it will be several more years before the crisis ends.

In spite of

The rules for the use of this linking word are the same as those for “despite”.

Example:

 In spite of the fact that there are signs that the economy is improving, economists warn it will be several more years before the crisis ends.

Nevertheless

The meaning of “nevertheless” is equivalent to “in spite of” and can be used at the beginning of a sentence or between the two clauses. It is always followed by a comma.

Example:

 There are signs that the economy is improving. Nevertheless, economists warn that it will be several more years before the crisis ends.

Nonetheless

This connector is used in the same way as “nevertheless”.

Example:

 There are signs that the economy is improving, nonetheless, economists warn that it will be several more years before the crisis ends.

While

While” is most frequently found at the beginning of a sentence.

Example:

 While there are signs that the economy is improving, economists warn that it will be several years before the crisis ends.

Conditional Ideas

The following linking words are used when one idea is dependent on another. Conditional linking words are always found before the conditional clause. See the lesson on conditionals for more information.

The following linking words are used when one idea is dependent on another. Conditional linking words are always found before the conditional clause. See the lesson on conditionals for more information.

Providing

This linking word can be used in place of “if”, though it tends to be more formal. It is frequently used with permissions and can be used at the beginning or the middle of the sentence.

Example:

 We will go to the beach providing it doesn’t rain.

Provided that

Provided that” is used in the same way as “providing”.

Example:

 Provided that it doesn’t rain, we will go to the beach.

As/so long as

This connector functions in the same way as “providing” or “provided that”.

Example:

 We will go to the beach as long as it doesn’t rain.

Unless

This linking word indicates an exception to the condition. It is always used before an affirmative verb to express the idea of “if…not”.

Example:

 We will go to the beach unless it rains.

Only if

Only if” is used to restrict the condition, indicating that there is only one condition which will make the main clause true.

Example:

 We will go to the beach only if it doesn’t rain.

Even if

This linking word is used to express the idea that the condition is irrelevant; that the results will be the same.

Example:

 We will go to the beach even if it rains.

Whether or not

Like “even if”, “whether or not” is used to express the irrelevance of the conditions, as the result will be the same.

Example:

 We will go to the beach whether or not it rains.
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