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Currently I'm writing a thesis. I came over the although sentence several times. After reading through time after time my head started to hurt :P I tried to google it but didn't find any help.

So the sentence goes like this:

Although that/it is true, it is not insensible since one rule alone cannot classify the entire data.

What comes before Although is a sentence trying to explain the bad results from a program shown in a table.

What is the difference? Is it possible to use both? If so, why?

Also the part with "it is not insensible since" sounds fishy to me. Is this one correct?

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2 Answers 2

It is impossible to be sure without more context, but either that or it is likely to be acceptable: both are syntactically pronouns here and refer to a previously stated proposition.

Insensible is almost certainly wrong. The word may mean

  • "incapable of sensory perception, unconscious" or

  • "incapable of being sensed or perceived by the senses"

and it is difficult to conceive an entity which might be described as both true/false and sensible/insensible. Your author may mean something like detectable or discernible.

Alternatively: Since sensible has as one of its meanings "characterized by good sense, reasonable", it is also possible that your author, working from a bilingual dictionary, may have employed insensible as the equivalent of a word in their own language with a range of meanings including both "unreasonable" and "irrelevant" or "inconclusive"—either of those words would fit the context.

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I think I'll change it to "Despite being true, it is still reasonable" instead =) thanks –  DellBell May 12 '13 at 0:40
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I'm inclined to suggest that either is acceptable and it's a matter of personal style. Clearly either that or it is referring to what has just been said/written previously.

Personally, I think that that is more grammatically correct in referring to what has just been said, but I think it is probably more common these days.

I can't really explain why - it's just a 'gut feeling'.

(This is from a British perspective.)

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