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 English Grammar for ESL learners 


EVEN THOUGH - EVEN IF

What is the difference and when do we use them?




EVEN THOUGH

Even though is used to express a fact, something that is real or true.

'Even though' means 'despite/in spite of' the fact.
It is more emphatic or stronger than 'though' or 'although'.
  • Even though John is rich, he lives in a small house.
    (John is rich, but despite having money he lives in a small house.)

  • Even though she likes animals, Mary doesn't want a dog.
    (Mary likes animals, but in spite of that she doesn't want a dog.)

  • Even though the building was damaged, business went on as usual.
    (The building was damaged, but despite that business went on as usual.)

  • Even though I washed it several times, I couldn't get rid of the stain.
    (I couldn't get rid of the stain despite washing it several times.)

EVEN IF

Even if is used in a supposition or hypothesis.
It refers to an imaginary or unreal situation.
  • Even if Caroline earned a big salary, she would not buy a fast car.
    (Supposing Caroline earned a big salary. She still wouldn't buy a fast car because she thinks they are too dangerous.)

  • Even if I had time and money, I still wouldn't go on a cruise.
    (Supposing I had time and money. I still wouldn't go on a cruise. I have other reasons for not going.)

  • I wouldn't wear that dress even if I got it for free!
    (Imagine getting that dress for nothing. I still wouldn't wear it!)

  • Even if Tom was offered a job in New York, he wouldn't accept it.
    (Supposing Tom was offered a job in New York. He wouldn’t accept it because he doesn't like big cities.)

Although/even though and despite/in spite of are used to combine or link two contrasting statements.

  • Although/even though are followed by a subject and a verb.

    Even though is a slightly stronger form of 'although'.

    Although and though have the same meaning and are interchangeable in most cases.

    • Although/even though it was raining, she walked to the station.
    • Although/even though he had enough money, he refused to buy a new car.
    • Although/even though Amy was wearing glasses, she couldn't read the notice.
    • Although/even though he disapproved, he said nothing.
    • Although/even though Jack had worked hard, he failed the exam.

  • Despite/in spite of are followed by a noun, a pronoun or a verb ending in -ing.
    (The gerund, a verb ending in -ing,  is the 'noun' form of a verb.)

    N.B. Despite/in spite of  have the same meaning, but despite is used without 'of'.

    • Despite/in spite of the rain he walked to the station.
    • He noticed the rain but he walked to the station in spite of it.
    • Despite being wet and tired, he walked to the station.
    • He decided to go sailing despite/in spite of the bad weather conditions.

Example:
He had enough money. He refused to buy a new car.

The above two statements can be combined as follows :
  • Although/even though he had enough money, he refused to buy a new car.
  • Despite/in spite of having enough money he refused to buy a new car.
  • He had enough money, but despite/in spite of that he refused to buy a new car.


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Please note that British English spelling is used on this website.

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