Posted by: Idioma Extra | March 25, 2010

Thursday’s Tidbit

Even if vs. Even Though

While these expressions are similar, they do not mean the same thing. Read on and find out what their difference is!  

Even though means despite the fact that and is a bit stronger than though and although.

Even if means whether or not and has to do with the conditions that may apply.

Compare the following:

  1. 1.    Even if I had two hours to spare, I wouldn’t stay late at work.
  2. 2.    Even though I had two hours to spare, I couldn’t stay late at work.

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, I still wouldn’t stay late at work. But I didn’t have two hours.

The second example describes a real situation where I had two hours to spare, but couldn’t stay late at work. When we attach even to though in this way, we are in effect saying: you may find this surprising but…! I did have two hours, but I couldn’t stay late.

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 reviewed his email, it still doesn’t sound good.
  • Even if I review his email, it still won’t sound good.

even so

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. When it begins a sentence, it’s followed by a comma.

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

Test Yourself!

Complete the sentences with the correct phrase.

  1. I can’t speak any other language. __________ I could speak Chinese, I don’t know that I would travel to China.
  2. She has worked at the company for five years. _____________ she loves her job, she’d like to find something new within the next year.
  3. Robert is really struggling at his new job. __________, he loves the new experience and is arriving early and leaving late everyday to learn as much as he can.
  4. ___________ Brazil wins the World Cup this year, it won’t be an easy win.
  5. ___________ Costa Rica didn’t make it to the World Cup, there will be many Tico supporters in South Africa.

Answers from the Last Tidbit

  1. Clark ______ two thousand dollars last night playing blackjack, then he bet it all and _______ it within 20 minutes. That’s why I don’t like gambling!
  2. Eating tamales at Christmas time is a typical Latin American _____________.
  3. John hasn’t met many ______ men; he thought Jack was a great _______.
  4. How much do you ________ at that company?

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