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  1. #1
    Alexey86 is online now Senior Member
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    Strong as he is (meanings)

    The (as) adjective + as + subject + be pattern confuses me sometimes. Are the pairs below correct and equivalent in meaning?

    1a Strong as he is, he can't lift it.
    1b He can't lift it despite his strength.

    2a Strong as he is, he can lift it.
    2b He can lift it due to his strength.

    3a Strong as he is, no one can beat him.
    3b No one can beat him because of his strength.

    4a Strong as he is, he should train every day.
    4b No matter how strong he is, he should train every day.

    (All examples are mine.)
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  2. #2
    Tarheel's Avatar
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    Re: Strong as he is (meanings)

    None of them seem natural to me. Perhaps:

    Although he is very strong, he can't lift it.
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  3. #3
    Alexey86 is online now Senior Member
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    Re: Strong as he is (meanings)

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarheel View Post
    Although he is very strong, he can't lift it.
    What's the difference between although he is very strong, despite the fact he is very strong and despite his strength?
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  4. #4
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    Re: Strong as he is (meanings)

    All right, here's my view on this:

    1a and 1b are fine. Yes, they're equivalent in meaning.

    2a and 3a are not good. The (as) adjective + as + subject + be pattern is used primarily when the following clause is contrastive, as it is in 1a. For that reason, they don't work.

    4a ought to be Strong though he is ...

  5. #5
    Tarheel's Avatar
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    Re: Strong as he is (meanings)

    Jutfrank is smarter than me,
    But we don't always agree.
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  6. #6
    Alexey86 is online now Senior Member
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    Re: Strong as he is (meanings)

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    All right, here's my view on this:

    2a and 3a are not good. The (as) adjective + as + subject + be pattern is used primarily when the following clause is contrastive, as it is in 1a.
    Would 2a work if I compared two different people?

    Strong as he is, he can lift it -> Strong as John is, Bill can lift it easily.

    I've also found this example: As smart as she is, she is equally funny. (Huffington Post) Is it correct? I see no contrast here.
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  7. #7
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    Re: Strong as he is (meanings)

    As smart as she is, she is also funny.

    That means the same thing as:

    She is very smart, and she is also very funny.

    (Note that jutfrank used the word primarily.)

    The other one makes no sense to me.
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  8. #8
    TheParser is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Strong as he is (meanings)

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexey86 View Post
    The (as) adjective + as + subject + be pattern confuses me sometimes.
    NOT A TEACHER

    Alexey, here is what one of my favorite grammar books says: "Sick as he is, he will want to go with you" is a shorter way to say "Though he be sick as he is, he will want to go with you."

    Source: House and Harman, Descriptive English Grammar (1931, 1950), page 415.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 16-Oct-2020 at 14:56.

  9. #9
    Alexey86 is online now Senior Member
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    Re: Strong as he is (meanings)

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarheel View Post
    The other one makes no sense to me.
    I thought 'Strong as John is, Bill can lift it easily' was equal to 'Being as strong as John is, Bill can lift it easily.'
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  10. #10
    Tarheel's Avatar
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    Re: Strong as he is (meanings)

    The second one says Bill is as strong as John.
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