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  1. #1
    Unregistered Guest

    participial construction

    (Although / In spite of) being a latecomer, the company has grown remarkably since its foundation, and finally has become the most profitable oil refinder in the country.

    I understand "In spite of"is right, but I wonder if "Although" is also possible, considering as the articipial construction.
    "Although the company was a latecomer, ~" -> "(Although) being a latecomer, ~" like this.

    Or how about this case? "In spite of a latecomer, ~"

    Sometimes I'm confused with distinguishing the preposition and the conjunction accurately.
    Please explain to me.

  2. #2
    ha179's Avatar
    ha179 is offline Member
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    Re: participial construction

    Not a teacher.
    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    (Although / In spite of) being a latecomer, the company has grown remarkably since its foundation, and finally has become the most profitable oil refinder in the country.

    I understand "In spite of"is right, but I wonder if "Although" is also possible, considering as the articipial construction.
    "Although the company was a latecomer, ~" -> "(Although) being a latecomer, ~" like this.

    Or how about this case? "In spite of a latecomer, ~"
    Both are incorrect.

    Sometimes I'm confused with distinguishing the preposition and the conjunction accurately.
    Please explain to me.
    As you know, 'although', 'in spite of' and 'despite' have the same meaning but there is a difference among them: 'although' is followed by a clause, while 'in spite of' or 'despite' is followed by an object or V-ing. In this case, we can only use 'in spite of' or 'despite', not 'although'.

  3. #3
    philo2009 is offline Key Member
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    Re: participial construction

    Your confusion is understandable: even some otherwise respectworthy grammarians seem to have difficulty at times distinguishing between prepositions and subordinating conjunctions!

    In common with most subordinators, however, 'although' has the facility to be followed by an elliptical clause from which subject and verb have been removed, leaving only the complement. Thus, just as we can abbreviate

    When he was happy, he was very happy, but when he was sad, he was very sad.


    to

    When happy, he was very happy, but when sad, he was very sad.

    we can abbreviate

    Although he was rich, he was not happy.

    to

    Although rich, he was not happy.

    The remaining complement is often a participle, but for the sentence to be acceptable/meaningful, it must similarly be possible to reconstitute the original full clause whilst retaining the participle unchanged. Thus

    While working in the fields, they laughed and sang.


    is an ellipsis of

    While they were working in the fields, they laughed and sang.


    and

    Although
    supposedly studying, he was actually daydreaming.


    is elliptical for

    Although he was supposedly studying, he was actually daydreaming.

    However, comparing the above with an ostensibly similar but structurally quite different sentence containing a preposition (despite) governing a gerund (studying), e.g.

    Despite studying, he failed to pass a single test.

    (meaning: Although he studied, he failed to pass...)

    it should become clear why 'although' cannot - meaningfully - be substituted here, since a sentence

    ?Although studying, he failed to pass a single test.


    could represent only semantically somewhat bizarre

    ?Although he was studying, he failed to pass...


    Thus the issue of whether to follow 'although' with an -ing form is primarily one of sense rather than of syntax!

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