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4 Ways to Use 'Though'

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Have you ever read or heard the word ‘though’? This rather informal word can be confusing for students and native speakers alike! In this lesson we discuss the different uses and meanings of the word ‘though’.

It is often used to describe a ‘contrasting’ situation, in which the speaker is aware that it is contradictory, however both parts remain true. Pronounced like “thow” (ðəʊ). There are 4 main uses of ‘though’:

 

1. As a conjunction towards the beginning of the sentence:

E.g. “Though I do not usually drink coffee, I have had 2 cups today.”

Used like this, ‘though’ introduces a sentence where 2 contrasting (or ‘opposite’) statements are made. In this context, ‘though’ is essentially a shortened, informal version of ‘although’. Let’s take a look at another example:

‘Though’ at the start of the sentence

Though Malta is a very small island, its history is long and rich.

Malta, though small, has a long and rich history.

‘Though’ following an adjective

Small though the island is, Malta has a long and rich history.

2. At the end of the sentence

E.g. “I already ate. Thanks, though!”

In the example above ‘though’ takes on the same meaning as the words ‘anyway’, ‘regardless’ and ‘nonetheless’. We use ‘though’ or ‘anyway’ with the word ‘thank you’ to express appreciation, even if the action is not necessary anymore or cannot be completed. Let’s look at one more example:

Speaker 1: Would you like something to drink?

Speaker 2: I’ve just had some water. Thanks, though! / I’ve just had some water. Thanks anyway!

3. In place of ‘however’ or ‘but’

E.g. “I do not usually drink coffee, though I’ve had 2 cups today.”

Used after a comma, in the middle of a sentence, the word ‘though’ (or ‘although’) can be used to mean the same as “I do not usually drink coffee, but/however* I have had 2 cups today.” In this context, ‘though’, ‘although’, and ‘but’ show that something which you have said is ‘less true’ than usual. In some cases, ‘though’ is also put at the end of a sentence with the same result:

“I don’t usually drink coffee. I’ve had 2 cups today though.”

*However is a more formal way of saying ‘but’

4. With the word ‘as’

E.g. “He acted as though he were angry.”

The phrase “as though” in this situation is used in the same way as the word ‘like’: “He acted like he was angry.” Let’s take a look at another example:

It looked as though it was going to rain.

It looked like it was going to rain.

There is no real difference in meaning between the two example – you can use ‘as though’ or ‘like’ depending on what you prefer!

  • 1) He doesn’t like flying, but he enjoyed his trip to Italy last year.




  • 2) That coat is nice, although I don’t like the price.





  • 3) I’ve had enough to eat, but thanks nonetheless.