Although Definition and Meaning: What Does Although Mean?
[Middle English : al, all; see all + though, though; see though.]
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.
conjunction though, while, even if, even though, whilst, albeit, despite the fact that, notwithstanding, even supposing, th' (U.S. or poetic) Although the shooting has stopped, the destruction is enormous.
Definition of ALTHOUGH
: in spite of the fact that : even though
Variants of ALTHOUGH
al·though also al·tho
Examples of ALTHOUGH
<although I've been to his house several times, I still can't remember how to get there>
Origin of ALTHOUGH
Middle English although, from al all + though
First Known Use: 14th century
Related to ALTHOUGH
albeit, as, howbeit, much as, notwithstanding, though, when, whereas, while, whilst [chiefly British]
Rhymes with ALTHOUGH
aglow, ago, airflow, airglow, air show, alow, archfoe, argot, a throw, backflow, backhoe, bandeau, Baotou, barlow, bateau, below, bestow, big toe, bon mot, bravo, by-blow, cachepot, callow, caló, Carlow, cash flow, chapeau, Chi-Rho, cockcrow, Cocteau, cornrow, corn snow, crossbow, Cousteau, Darrow, Day-Glo, dayglow, death row, Defoe, de trop, deathblow, deco, down-bow, dumb show, elbow, escrow, fencerow, flambeau, floor show, flyblow, fogbow, forego, foreknow, forgo, freak show, free throw, Freneau, Fuzhou, galop, game show, genro, gigot, Glencoe, go-slow, Gounod, Guangzhou, gung ho, guyot, Hadow, Hangzhou, Hankow, Harrow, heave-ho, hedgerow, heigh-ho, hello, hollo, horse show, ice floe, ice show, inflow, in tow, Io, jabot, jambeau, Jane Doe, jim crow, Jinzhou, Joe Blow, Jiaozhou, John Doe, Juneau, Hounslow, kayo, KO, Lanzhou, lie low, light show, longbow, low blow, Luchow, macho, mahoe, maillot, mallow, manteau, Marlowe, Marot, marrow, matelot, merlot, Meursault, minnow, Miró, misknow, Moho, mojo, morceau, morrow, Moscow, mucro, mudflow, Murrow, nightglow, no-no, no-show, nouveau, oboe, outflow, outgo, outgrow, oxbow, peep show, Pernod, picot, plateau, pronto, Quanzhou, quiz show, rainbow, Rameau, red snow, reflow, regrow, repo, reseau, road show, rondeau, rondo, roscoe, Roseau, rouleau, sabot, Saint-Lô, salchow, scarecrow, self-sow, serow, shadblow, Shantou, sideshow, skid row, ski tow, Soho, so-so, sound bow, sourdough, stone's throw, sunbow, Suzhou, tableau, Taizhou, talk show, tiptoe, Thoreau, tone row, tonneau, trade show, trousseau, Trudeau, uh-oh, unsew, up-bow, upthrow, van Gogh, wallow, Wenzhou, Wicklow, widow, willow, windrow, windthrow, winnow, Winslow, Wuzhou, Xuzhou, Yalow, yarrow, Zhangzhou, Zhengzhou, Zibo
used for introducing a statement that makes your main statement seem surprising
Although he's got a good job now, he still complains.
She used to call me 'Tiny', although I was at least as tall as she was.
Davidson fought bravely, and although badly wounded, he refused to surrender.
used for introducing a statement that makes what you have just said seem less true or less likely
She's a very popular author, although personally I find her books rather boring.
The Lamberts liked their new home, although sometimes they missed their friends.
Though is used with the same meaning as although, and is more common in spoken English.
although / even though / though
You can use these words to show contrast between two clauses or two sentences. Though is used more in spoken than in written English. You can use although, even though and though at the beginning of a sentence or clause that has a verb. Notice where the commas go:
Although/Even though/Though everyone played well, we lost the game. ◇ We lost the game, although/even though/though everyone played well.
You cannot use even on its own at the beginning of a sentence or clause instead of although, even though or though: Even everyone played well, we lost the game.
You use although to introduce a subordinate clause which contains a statement which contrasts with the statement in the main clause.
Although he is known to only a few, his reputation among them is very great... Although the shooting has stopped for now, the destruction left behind is enormous.
You use although to introduce a subordinate clause which contains a statement which makes the main clause of the sentence seem surprising or unexpected. (=though)
Although I was only six, I can remember seeing it on TV...
You use although to introduce a subordinate clause which gives some information that is relevant to the main clause but modifies the strength of that statement. (=though)
He was in love with her, although he did not put that name to it.
You use although when admitting a fact about something which you regard as less important than a contrasting fact.
Although they're expensive, they last forever and never go out of style...
Crafting Better Sentences: Use “Although” Carefully
“Although” is a marvelous word that – alas – even professional writers sometimes use incorrectly. Train your writing radar to keep a mental lookout for although, and follow these simple rules:
1. Never put a comma after although.
Beware of writing something like this:
decided to accept the job offer. Although, I had some doubts about
the company’s stability.
Here’s the correct version:
decided to accept the job offer although I had some doubts about the
You could also write it this way:
decided to accept the job offer. However, I had some doubts about the
2. Always attach an although idea to a complete sentence. Anything that starts with although is an extra idea. It can’t stand alone: You have to attach it to a complete sentence. (Think of a garage – nice to have, but you need a house to go with it.)
3. If you start a sentence with an although idea, end the idea with a comma, and follow it with a real sentence.
Suppose you wrote “Although the hurricane was headed our way.” This is an extra idea that can’t end with a period. What to do?
Your first choice is to end it with a comma and add a real sentence. (Think garage + house, as I mentioned earlier.) Here’s what you might have when you’re finished:
the hurricane was headed our way last night, early this morning it
turned north and missed Florida completely.
Another choice would be to put your extra idea at the back of a real sentence. In that case you wouldn’t use a comma. Here’s the result:
this morning the hurricane turned north and missed Florida completely
although it was headed our way last night.
4. Sometimes you can fix an although mistake just by substituting however. Nothing fancy is required: Just use a period and a capital letter.
Here’s a sentence that needs fixing (never put a comma after although, and never leave an although idea hanging out there by itself).
has been madly in love with Chuck ever since he showed up in her
algebra class. Although, he’s not interested in her at all.
Substitute however, and you’re done! Take a look:
has been madly in love with Chuck ever since he showed up in her
algebra class. However, he’s not interested in her at all.
And that’s all there is to it! Those four simple rules will help you use although with confidence – an important skill for any serious writer.
Before going on, be sure that you understand Sentence Punctuation: Basics.
> A note about although. Even though although may seem to have the same general sense as however or but, it is a subordinating conjunction (however is a transitional word, and but is a coordinating conjunction). Therefore, unless there is some other reason to do so, although is not followed by a comma. It can't be used to introduce an independent clause either.
Although he prefers math to English is not a complete thought.
Although, he prefers math to English is not a complete thought either. It is a dependent clause that has been incorrectly punctuated.
He does well in English; although, he prefers math to English is not correct. The sentence treats although (a subordinating conjunction) as if it were however (a transitional word).
The correct punctuation is either He does well in English although he prefers math to English (no comma at all) or He does well in English, although he prefers math to English (comma between the independent clause and the dependent clause but still no comma after although. (This is an example of an instance in which we have an option whether to set off the closing dependent clause with a comma. If we want to give a little more emphasis to the contrast expressed by the although clause, we may opt for using the comma.)
> The above example gives us an opportunity to examine our many options for expressing the same idea. Notice how the punctuation differs depending on the sentence structure (or type) and the connecting word that is used. All these sentences are correct.
Compound sentence using a coordinating conjunction: He prefers math to English, but he does well in English.
Same sentence reversed: He does well in English, but he prefers math to English.
A more concise version of the above (still a compound sentence): He does well in English, but he prefers math.
Compound sentence using a transitional word: He does well in English; however, he prefers math to English. (Concise version: He does well in English; however, he prefers math.)
Same sentence reversed and using a different transitional word: He prefers math to English; nevertheless, he does well in English.
Complex sentence with dependent clause first: Although he prefers math to English, he does well in English.
Same sentence with the ideas reversed but still with the dependent clause first: Although he does well in English, he prefers math to English.
A more concise version of the above: Although he does well in English, he prefers math.
Complex sentence with the dependent clause at the end: He prefers math to English, although he does well in English. (Comma is optional.)
Same sentence reversed: He does well in English, although he prefers math to English. (Comma is optional.)
A more concise version of the above: He does well in English, although he prefers math. (Comma is optional.)
If we take advantage of the many ways we have to express two related ideas in one sentence (even simple ideas such as these), we can write prose that is more effective and interesting, less monotonous and boring.
> One very common punctuation error is the result of confusing a simple sentence that has two verbs and a compound sentence that has two clauses (i.e., two subjects, each with its own verb). Consider this correctly punctuated sentence:
He prefers math to English but does well in English anyway.
This is a simple sentence, not a compound sentence. It has only one subject (He); thus, it contains only one clause. The word he is not repeated as a second subject, as it is in all of the examples of compound and complex sentences listed above. The subject, stated only once, has two verbs: He prefers . . . [but] does . . . ." We call this a simple sentence with a compound verb. Traditionally, we do not separate the two verbs of a compound verb by a comma. A broader rule is: Delete commas that immediately precede or follow coordinating conjunctions unless they link independent clauses.
fed the cat, and put it out for the night.
[Separation of compound verbs (fed and put out)]
Correct: She fed the cat and put it out for the night.