Is there a difference between although and even though?
This is a question I was asked recently and it got me thinking. They both mean in spite of or despite a given situation something happened anyway.
They are both linking words (conjunctions) between two clauses in a sentence to show the contrast between those clauses. They can be used either at the start of the sentence or in the middle to join the second clause to the first.
So, is there a difference?
Yes, there is. Even though is a stronger phrase and highlights a bigger contrast between the two clauses.
Let's have a look at this example:
After having such a rainy weekend you would expect the speaker not to have enjoyed their trip to the city, however, they did. Even though shows the contrast between the miserable weather and the enjoyment of the weekend.
Let's look at how although differs:
The speaker is telling us about her friend's beautiful scarf. This is a general comment and doesn't have the dramatic impact of the rainy weekend in the city as described in the first example.
Don't worry too much if you are still confused since even though and although can be used interchangeably in most cases. Let's look at some examples of this:
Even though he studied hard, he didn't pass the exam.
Although he studied hard, he didn't pass the exam.
She was late for school, even though she got up earlier than usual.
She was late for school, although she got up earlier than usual.
As you can see from the sentences above even though and although can be used interchangeably, yet it is good to be aware that even though has a stronger impact in each case.
Conjunction - subject - verb
This is the case whether in the first or the second clause of the sentence.
Although - I - was late, I didn't miss the train.
I didn't miss the train, although - I - was late.
Although - one word - less dramatic
Even though - two words - more dramatic....more drama....more words!