Tag Archives: subordinate clauses

Although it drives me crazy

Many writers have difficulty punctuating sentences with although in them. I just came across the following badly punctuated sentence in an online political article:

One counter-protester, Leslie Taylor of Madison admitted, “I’m dying of curiosity to see what kind of people support Sarah Palin. Although, I’m seeing more protesters than supporters.”

Sigh. Anything beginning with “although” is an extra idea and needs to be glued on to a real sentence.

And there’s another problem: although should never be followed by a comma. (Also – not that I’m trying to be picky – there should be a comma after Madison.)

Here’s the corrected sentence:

One counter-protester, Leslie Taylor of Madison, admitted, “I’m dying of curiosity to see what kind of people support Sarah Palin although I’m seeing more protesters than supporters.” CORRECT

(To learn more about these commas, click here. Comma Rule 1 deals with although and similar words; Comma Rule 3 explains why you need a comma after Madison.)

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The “Although” Problem

Fewer and fewer people seem to know how to use “although” correctly. I see writing like this all the time:

We’re making good progress on the new addition to our house. Although, the flooring is taking longer than we expected. WRONG

Although always introduces an extra idea. It’s not a substitute for however. If you write an although idea, make sure there’s a sentence to go with it:

Although the flooring is taking longer than we expected, we’re making good progress on the new addition to our house. CORRECT

Here are two other correct ways to do it:

We’re making good progress on the new addition to our house. However, the flooring is taking longer than we expected. CORRECT

We’re making good progress on the new addition to our house although the flooring is taking longer than we expected. CORRECT

And here are a few more examples. I’ve made these shorter and simpler, but they work the same way:

Although I enjoyed the movie, I don’t want to see it again. CORRECT

Barry still has plenty of energy although he worked the late shift last night. CORRECT

Notice:

  • It’s NEVER correct to put a comma after although.
  • An although idea is incomplete and always needs to be attached to a complete sentence.

Simple enough, right?

One more reminder: Don’t use although as a synonym for however. Take a look at this sentence:

The job offer is tempting. Although, I don’t want to leave New York. WRONG

Here are two ways to fix it:

The job offer is tempting although I don’t want to leave New York. CORRECT

The job offer is tempting. However, I don’t want to leave New York. CORRECT

Although many people make mistakes with although, you won’t have any problems from now on!

To learn more, click here and read about Comma Rule 1.

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