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Practice with the exercises:
Exercise 1

1. Linking words of contrast

Linking words of contrast are words used to contrast two ideas.
Although it's a tempting offer, I have to turn it down.
She sang despite being nervous.

2. But, yet and however

  • The particles but and yet are introduced in a sentence when we want to contrast an idea with another previously stated.

    To separate the two ideas, we will put a comma before but and yet.

    But is used when we talk about a neutral contrast situation; whereas we use yet when we are surprised by the contrast.

    He works long hours, but he loves his job.
    He is allergic to cats, yet he has one.
  • The particle however is more formal than but.

    It does not link two ideas in one sentence. First an idea is given and then another is introduced, usually separated by a full stop.

    It is mainly used at the beginning of the second sentence followed by a comma. It can also be placed in the middle of the sentence between two commas, or at the end of the sentence preceded by a comma.

    The concert was great. However, it was long.
    It isn’t impossible. There are, however, some risks.

2. Although, even though and though

  • These three particles have the same meaning and can be used interchangeably. They introduce a sentence that makes what is expressed in the main sentence seem surprising.

    They can go at the beginning or in the middle of the sentence. Though can also be placed at the end of a sentence.

    They precede a sentence composed of a subject plus a verb.

    Although she tried hard, she couldn't solve it.
    They often meet though they broke up a year ago.
    Although the three particles can be used interchangeably, although is usually used more in written English, while though is used more in spoken English. Even though has a stronger connotation, that is, it shows a greater emphasis on the sentence.
  • Though is used in spoken English with the same meaning as but, but is placed at the end of a sentence. This does not apply to although.
    I'll help you, although I still don't know how.
    It's freezing cold. It's a lovely day, though.

3. Despite and in spite of

  • The particles despite and in spite of, like although..., introduce a sentence that makes what the main sentence expresses seem surprising.

    They can go at the beginning or in the middle of a sentence.

    They precede a noun, a pronoun (this, that...), a verb in the gerund, or the expression "the fact that" followed by a subject plus a verb.

    Despite the danger, people live near volcanoes.
    She jumped in spite of being terrified.
    His novel was a success despite the fact that some critics said it wouldn't.
    She made a mistake, but in spite of that she is a good person and your friend.

Remember!

The linking words of contrast are particles that are used to contrast two ideas.
Form Examples
BUT He hasn't got many possessions, but he is happy.
YET He hasn’t got many possessions, yet he is happy.
HOWEVER He hasn’t got many possessions. However, he is happy.
ALTHOUGH Although he hasn't got many possessions, he is happy.
THOUGH He hasn’t got many possessions. He is happy, though.
EVEN THOUGH Even though he hasn’t got many possessions, he is happy.
DESPITE Despite not having many possessions, he is happy.
IN SPITE OF In spite of the fact that he hasn’t got many possessions, he is happy.

 

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