A concessive clause is a clause which expresses an idea that suggests the opposite of the main part of the sentence.

Although, even though, though

Study these examples:

  1. He had enough money
  2. He refused to buy a new car

The above two statements can be combined as follows:


Although, though and even though introduce concessive clauses.

Structure: Although /even though + subject +verb

Although it was raining, he walked to the station.
Even though she is very old, she runs fast.
John put on sun cream. She still got burnt, though.

Despite / in spite of:

Despite and in spite of do not introduce a concessive clause. They are rather followed by a noun or a verb+ing form.

Study this example:

  • He had enough money.
  • He refused to buy a new car.

The above two statements can be combined as follows :

Structure: Despite / in spite of + a noun + verb + ing.

Despite /in spite of the rain, he walked to the station.
Despite /in spite of being tired, he walked to the station.

However despite the fact that/ in spite of the fact that introduce a concessive clause.

In spite of the fact/ Despite the fact that we had no ID on us, the porter let us in.


Notwithstanding is a synonym of despite or in spite of something, and so we use it to indicate an aspect of contrast.

Notwithstanding the bad weather, we had a picnic at the beach.

Notwithstanding the fact that he was very unwell, David came first in the Maths exam.

Notwithstanding the global financial crisis, China's economy continues to grow at an impressive rate.

Notwithstanding his youth, Picasso's early pictures were technically accomplished and mature in perspective.

Notwithstanding the brevity of my answer, it is to be hoped that your understanding is clearer now.
(also used following the noun it refers to) : The bad weather notwithstanding, the event was a great success.


Use however at the beginning of a second sentence.

Her job is hard. However, her salary is low.

While / whereas / whilst

While, whereas and whilst (formal) can mean although. The while/ whereas/ whilst clause can come before or after the main clause.

While/Whereas/whilst my father is strong and tall, I am short and weak.

While can be used before a statement that is true but is not as important as the statement that follows.

While I understand your problem, there is nothing I can do to help you.

Much as

Much as also means although and it is used with verbs for like and hate to talk about strong feelings.

Much as I like James as a friend, I could never date him. zbr/> Much as it pains me to say this, we'll have to cancel the trip.


Yet is used in formal contexts. We do not start a statement with yet.

These exclusive villas are only a five-minute walk from the resort,yet they are a haven of peace and tranquillity.

We can use though/ even though with an adjective instead of a clause

The necklace, even though (it was) staggeringly expensive, would match the dress perfectly.

Though exhausted after the drive home, Shelley cooked a meal for them all

Adjective/adverb + as/though + subject + verb clause

It is used for emphatic sentences.

Hard as he tried, he didn’t pass the exam.
Young though he is, he occupies a responsible position in the firm.
Difficult though it was, we eventually secured the premises.
Good as he is, he will never be top of the class.

Much+ as + subject + verb clause

Much as he tried, he couldn't put up with the pain.

Verb+ as + subject + auxiliary/ modal

Try as he does/ will/ may/ might, he will never...


It expresses the idea of ‘no matter what/who/where...’:

Whatever I say, she says the opposite.

Whatever caused the accident, it was not a broken bottle.

Whatever he says, I'm going away

Whoever was responsible, it was not the poor pedestrian.

However he tries, he will never...

Whenever it happened, it was certainly not yesterday.

Wherever you met her, it was not in my house.

However + adjective/ much/many

It is also possible to use however + adjective/ much/ many

However exhausted she felt after the drive home, Shelley cooked a meal for them all.

We've got to get these plans approved, however difficult it may be. (Though it may be difficult)

You won't change my mind, however much you argue!

We can use adverbs and adverbial phrases to introduce contrast

We were exhausted but we carried on all the same.

We were exhausted. Nevertheless, we carried on.

Even so

Even so: despite that.

Even so is a prepositional phrase that can be used in a similar fashion to introduce a fact that is surprising in the context of what has been said before. It connects ideas between clauses or sentences.

I know her English isn't very good, but even so I can understand her.

It rained, but even so we enjoyed the day.

The evidence was only circumstantial. Even so, he was convicted and spent ten years in prison for a crime that he perhaps did not commit.

There are a lot of spelling mistakes; even so, it's quite a good essay.

There are a lot of spelling mistakes. It's quite a good essay, even so.

Even though/ Even if
  • Even though describes a real situation. It means "despite the fact that" and is a more emphatic version of though and although.
  • Even if describes an unreal situation. It means "whether or not" and has to do with the conditions that may apply.

Even if I leave now, I’ll be too late. (Even if: "whether or not" / "no matter whether" / "just supposing" ).

Compare the following:

Even if I had two hours to spare for shopping, I wouldn't go out and buy a suit.
Even though I had two hours to spare for shopping, I couldn't find the suit I wanted.

The first example describes an unreal situation where we could substitute 'just supposing' for even if and say: just supposing I had two hours to spare for shopping, I still wouldn't go out and buy a suit.

The second example describes a real situation where the shopper spent two hours looking for a particular kind of suit, but couldn't find it. When we attach even to though in this way, we are in effect saying: you may find this surprising but...!

Compare the following pairs of sentences:

Even though he lost his job as Arts Minister, he continued to serve in the government. Even if he loses his job as Arts Minister, I think he'll continue to serve in the government.

Even though the injury was serious, she decided to carry on playing. It was an important match. I know she'll want to carry on playing, even if she gets injured. It's an important match.

Even though I've cleaned it and polished it, it still doesn't look new.
Even if I clean and polish it, it still won't look new.