Grammar-QuizzesConnectorsCoordinatorAdjunct Preposition › But vs. Though

But vs. Though

Express defeat versus challenge

job search
 

Compare the use of but to though.

Brian worked in marketing for two years, but lost his job when his company down-sized during the bad economic recession. Brian wants to continue pursuing his career, yet he has several difficulties to face.

Brian's future will depend on his being able to remain optimistic and put his best foot forward.  The following are two states of mind:

 

 

 

 

A "but vs. though state of mind"

BUT – AN OBSTACLE / DEFEAT

After a statement of intent, but often expresses an obstacle or reason for setback or defeat.

Brian is focused on obstacles!

Brian hopes to find a new job, but few employers are hiring. He stood in line to get into a job fair, but he found nothing in marketing. He also, wants to go to business school, but he has no savings to pay tuition or to support himself while studying.  He'd like to get some additional training; however, he's unsure where to get it.  Brian doesn't know where to get started. He's letting the obstacles overcome him and keep him from his goals.                                           

THOUGH – A CHALLENGE

After a statement of intent, though expresses a challenge— an obstacle or difficulty that can be overcome.

Brian is focused on goals!

Brian hopes to find a new job though few employers are hiring. He stood in line to get into a job fair although he found nothing in marketing. He also, wants to go to business school though he has no savings to pay tuition or to support himself while studying.  He'd like to get some additional training even though he's unsure where to get it.  Brian is prepared for the challenge. He is overcoming challenges in order to meet his goals.                               

 

challenge (N) – a difficulty that tests strength, skill, or ability, especially in an interesting way

encourage (V) – inspire with courage, spirit, or confidence

defeat (N) – a difficulty that results in loss or failure; being overcome

discourage (V) – not give courage, spirit, or confidence

down-sized (Adj) – decreased, let go unnecessary workers

face (V) – to deal with or manage a difficult situation

focus (V) – central point of attention

hire (V) – offer a job, employ; (N)

marketing (N) – promoting a business, advertising, and selling

no ifs, ands, or buts (expression) – do not make excuses

obstacle (N) – something that makes it difficult to achieve something; a block

optimistic (Adj) – believing that good things will happen in the future

pessimistic (Adj) – doubtful that good things will happen in the future

put your best foot forward (expression) – do your best

setback (n) – a problem that delays or prevents progress

state of mind (expression) – way of thinking

stuck (Adj) – unable to move away from a bad situation

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cause & Contrast

Cause to No Cause and Effect

 

 

Cause to No Cause & Effect

CAUSE EFFECT → NO CAUSE-EFFECT

CAUSE

 

He's a skilled worker because he applies himself.  (He works hard.)

The idea in the clause after because adds a reason for the state or situation in the main clause.

CONTRAST

 

He's a skilled worker but he doesn't apply himself.  (He doesn't work hard.)

The idea in the in the clause after but adds (coordinates) an exception, a contrary example or idea.

CONCESSION

 He's a skilled worker though he could take a few more courses to improve his skills. (He could learn more.)

The idea in the clause after though admits something that does not logically fit with the previous statement—giving in on a point that does not follow in logic.  See Concession.

NO CAUSE

He's a skilled worker though he hasn't had much experience or education. (He is naturally talented.)

The idea in the clause after though expresses an opinion or is action that is a not a logical or an expected response to the assertion or situation in other clause—no cause-effect. See Contrary Reasoning.

reasoning (N) — the process of forming conclusions, inferences or judgments from facts or propositions

 

 

 

 

 

But vs. Though

Obstacle or Challenge?

 

 

 

But vs. Though

INTENT BUT OBSTACLE

Brian planned on attending a job fair,

but

the line to get in wrapped around the block.   (It discouraged him..)

Brian hopes to find another job,

but

few employers are hiring.        (It's unlikely.)

Brian expected to get a lead at the Job Fair,

but

he found nothing in marketing. (He left disappointed.)

Brian would like to go back to school,

but

he has no savings.  (He can't pay and doesn't want to ask his parents.)

Brian wants to get some additional training,

but

he's unsure where to get it. (He's stuck. He's doubtful about taking a first step.)    

INTENT  THOUGH CHALLENGE

Brian planned on attending a job fair

though

the line to get in wrapped around the block.   (He stood in it anyway.)

Brian hopes to find another job

though

few employers are hiring.  (He'll find one.)

Brian expected to get a lead at the Job Fair

though

he found nothing in marketing. (He found other options.)

Brian would like to go back to school

though

he has no savings. (He will find other funding or a scholarship.)

Brian wants to get some additional training

though

he's unsure where to get it. (He will check with counselors at the local community college.)

 

But is a coordinatr. 

Though, although, and even though are adjunct prepositions.  Grammar terms vary:  adverb clauses (Azar 17.3-11); preposition "adjunct of concession" (Huddleston 8 §13.2); conjunction (Swan 49) "subordinating conjunction" (Biber 2.4.8); adverbial clause (Biber 15.39-40).  For details, see Connector Review Grammar Notes

Also see Beginning a sentence with "and", "so" or "but" |  Pop-Q "Though".

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice

The Interview

job interview
 

 

Is it an obstacle or a challenge?

  1. Select the response from the list that best completes the sentence. Include the idea of the words in parentheses. 
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "check" or "check 1-10" button.

 

1.

2.

3.

4.
He went anyway.

5.

under-qualified (Adj) – not having sufficient skills or knowledge yet


6.

7.

8.
)

9.
  (He was discouraged and gave up. )

10.