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The complex sentence with an adverbial clause of concession

In complex sentences with concessive clauses there is a contrast between the content of the main clause and that of the subordinate one: the action or fact described in the main clause is carried out or takes place despite the action or state expressed in the subordinate clause.

This type of clause is introduced by conjunctions: although, though, if; correlative conjunctions: though...yet, whether...or; conjunctive pronounsor adverbs: whoever, whatever, whichever, whenever, wherever (which may stand for almost any part of the sentence), as, or composite соnjunсtiоns: no matter how, no matter what, for all that, despite that, in spite of the fact, despite the fact, even if, even though, even when.

The abundance of means for expressing concessive relations is determined not only by the necessity to differentiate various shades of meaning, but also by the fact that different parts may form the focus of the concessive meaning:


Howevercynical he was – Сколь бы циничен он ни был..., Late as it was – Хотя было поздно..., как бы ни было поздно..., Try as he might – Как бы он ни старался..., хотя он и старался работать..., Whoever may come – Кто бы ни пришел..., (The focus is the predicative.)   “-“-“     (The focus is the notional part of the predicate.)   (The focus is the subject.)


Compound conjunctive pronouns and adverbs (whoever, whenever, etc.) impart universal or indefinite meaning to the clause they introduce. Contrast the following sentences:


a) Whenever you come send me a note (any time when...).


b) When you come send me a note (the definite time when...).


There is some similarity between clauses of condition and concession. The difference lies in the fact that whereas conditional clauses statethe dependence of one action or circumstance on another, concessive clauses implya contrast orlack of dependence between them. Thus the following sentences with concessive clauses

Although the weather was bad, he went for a walk.

Although the weather was fine, he did not go for a walk (the second statement is surprising in the light of

the first),


may be rephrased using coordinate clauses joined by the contrastive but.


The weather was bad, but he went for a walk.

The weather was fine, but he did not go for a walk.


In complex sentences with a conditional clause the dependence has no contrast.

If the weather was fine he went for a walk. (The second statement results from the first.)


Note 1:


However, contrastive meaning is not characteristic of all types of concessive clauses. There are three types of concessive clauses, which differ in the relation they bear to the principal clause and in the way they are connected.


I. Clauses ofadmitted concession (придаточные уступительные со значением допущения).

Though there might be many obstacles to overcome, he faithfully believed in future.

Though all efforts fail, we shall never surrender.

Though war and danger were in store, war and danger might not befall for months to come.


Concessive clauses introduced by compound pronouns and adverbs in -ever are never adversative to the main clause in their content, as they suggest a choice from among a number of possibilities.

Whoever he may be, he seems to be an honest man at least.

Wherever you live, you can keep a cat.

Whatever your problems are, they can’t be worse than mine.

Whatever guests you invite, they are welcome.


Clauses of admitted concession may have inverted word order; inversion is possible both with the conjunctions though and as, which in this case occur in non-initial position (after the predicative), and with conjunctive words.


Josephine could always eat, however excited she was (though she was excited).

Dark as it was getting, I could still see these changes (though it was getting dark).

Miraculous though it seemed to be, there was no miracle in their survival (though it seemed to be



The connective however, besides being a linking element, functions also as an adverbial modifier of degree referring to the predicative (however excited she was).

Note 2:


Sometimes clauses concessive in form have a non-concessive meaning of cause or attendant circumstance.


The sergeant, fool as he was, couldn't see the point (because he was a fool, being a fool).


II.Clauses of open concession (придаточные уступи­тельные со значением гипотетического допуще­ния). Clauses of this type express an unreal condition, despite which the action in the principal clause is carried out. The predicate in the subordinate clause may be in the indicative or in the subjunctive mood (in the latter case the quasi-subjunctive forms with may and might are generally used).

Whatever may be the shortcomings and defects of the present treatment, it is vain to attempt to extenuate

or excuse them in a short preface.

However much advice you give him, he does exactly what he wants.

III.Clauses of disjunctive or alternative concession(придаточные уступительные со значением альтер­нативы). These clauses admit two possible alternatives, both of which may be unreal, or may refer to the future. As can be seen from the examples given below, the contrast between the principal and the subordinate clause or clauses is weaker, as there are two alternatives, neither of which can be considered as an acceptable condition.


“Coward!” he repeated. “Coward, am I? Then I'll be a coward, and you shall kiss me whether you will or


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