Tuesday, December 14, 2010

although... but

So many of the essays I rated today contained the erroneous construction "although... but," as in, "Although it isn't raining, but I took my umbrella all the same." The but is obviously superfluous, but students from all over the world seem to think it needs to be there. English learners have to memorize a pile of inflexible or nearly inflexible locutions: either/or; neither/nor; not only/but also; so [adjective] that [clause]*; etc. It's no wonder that they get a few mixed up. For all its global popularity, English isn't easy, especially when it comes to the details.

*As in: "He was so drunk that he keeled over in mid-sentence."


1 comment:

Charles said...

Fascinatingly enough, this is something my students never get wrong. They get a lot of other stuff wrong, but not this. Maybe this is lower-level stuff?

(Word Verification Fun...

conguar (n): a mythical creature with the body of a jaguar and the wings of a condor.)