Contrasts for NA1 and NA2 Students

St. James the Greater was one of the disciples of Jesus Christ, the son of Zebedee, and the brother of John the Apostle. He is the patron saint of Spain, where his remains have been placed in the holy town of Santiago de Compostela. There is a pilgrimage to St. James the Great’s gravesite, known as the Way of Saint James. Although the pilgrimage is usually made on foot, some pilgrims follow the route on horseback, like in the Middle Ages. Along the Route can be found many riding clubs where pilgrims can rent horses to cover some stages of their way.

It is thought that St. James the Great appeared to fight with the Christians during the battle of Clavijo during the Reconquista. There is also a saying that St. James the Moorslayer has been given to Spain for its patron and protection.

(Adapted from www.stjames.webhero.com and www.caminosantiago.com)

boeingtrot

We use although when the contrast between what’s going on in the main clause and what’s going on in the subordinate clause surprises us. We can use though instead of although, and that would be less formal. Observe Michael Morpurgo’s quotation from his short novel War Horse:

 Although/Though (I was) still weak from my illness, I was already being used for light work around the veterinary hospital.

 However, only though can be used at the end of a clause:

 I was already being used for light work around the veterinary hospital. I was still weak from my illness, though.

 An adjective and no verb may follow the conjunction and have the same meaning as a clause following the pattern conjunction + subject + be. Morpurgo’s original quotation is a fine example of this. The words in round brackets are an addition of mine.

 If we want to emphasize an adjective, we may put it before though or as in the pattern adjective + though + noun/pronoun + (usually linking) verb:

 Weak though/as I was from my illness, I was already being used for light work around the veterinary hospital.

 Despite the fact that and in spite of the fact that can be used to express the same meaning, always followed by a subject and the correct form of the verb:

 Despite the fact that/In spite of the fact that I was still weak from my illness, I was already being used for light work around the veterinary hospital.

 Despite and in spite of can be used similarly, but, remember, these prepositions require the –ing form of the verb:

 Despite/In spite of still being weak from my illness, I was already being used for light work around the veterinary hospital.

 If you’re wondering which one to use, in spite of is a bit more informal.

 We use even though the same way we use despite the fact that:

 Even though/despite the fact that I was still weak from my illness, I was already being used for light work around the veterinary hospital.

 We use even if when we mean whether or not:

 Even if I were still weak from my illness, I would be used to do light work around the veterinary hospital = Whether or not I was still weak from my illness, I would be used to do light work around the veterinary hospital.

 Therefore, we use even though when we know for sure that the speaker—in this case Joey, the narrator in War Horse—is still weak, and even if when there is a chance he may no longer be weak when he is required to do light work around the hospital.

 While and the more literary whilst are used like although in formal contexts to introduce a conflict between the main clause and the adverbial clause. The subordinate clause should always come before or within the main clause:

 While Captain Nicholls was a big man, he was always light on Joey.

Captain Nicholls, while a big man, was always light on Joey.

 Use while or whereas to express contrast between the main clause and the adverbial clause. The adverbial clause may come before or after the main clause:

 While/Whereas Joey might be faster, there’s no one to match my stallion for stamina.

Topthorn, the black stallion, had finer breeding, while/whereas Joey had more strength.

 Avoid using whereas when the subordinate clause makes what is said in the main clause unexpected:

 While/Although there was just one chance in half a million that it would happen, Joey walked into Major Martin’s veterinary hospital.

 Although, though, while, and whilst can be followed by –ing and –ed clauses, as well as by clauses where the subject and verb have been left out:

 Though being a British war horse, Joey served with the German army.

Although trapped in barbed wire, Joey managed to free himself.

While (he was) still on foreign soil, Joey found his first master.

 Now do the attached sentence completion exercise.

the_way_of_st_james

the_way_of_st_james_key

Done? Good. Here’s another exercise you might want to do. Bear in mind that when you rephrase an idea, several answers may be possible. Therefore, what you’ll find in the key are suggested answers, not an article of faith.

contrast_concession

contrast_concession_key

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10.07.07. Advanced, Force-Feeding, Gapped Texts, Rephrasing, Sentence Completion.

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