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Are these two totally synonymous? Can one be used in place of the other anywhere? Are there any differences in nuance, or anything at all?

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up vote 25 down vote accepted

These two are not equivalent. Even though is used to introduce a condition which currently is true, while even if introduces a hypothetical condition that is not yet true.

I'm going to the park even though it's raining.

This means that it's raining right now, but I'm going to the park anyway.

I'm going to the park even if it's raining.

This means that it's not yet raining, but I will go to the park even if it starts to rain. Note that in this case the present progressive I'm going actually indicates a near future action.

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+1 I believe that even if doesn't necessarily mean that the condition is not true (yet): it just means that the speaker doesn't consider it a fact; he might just not know whether it is true. An example: we don't know how many bombers the Germans have; however, even if they have more than we do, they are easy prey for our superior fighters. // (I believe many people might also use even if where you and I would only use even though; that is, they might use even if even when they know the condition is true.) –  Cerberus Mar 30 '11 at 2:29
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I would also add even if can carry an indifference or reckless connotation. Very similar to the comment above but slightly different. I will do it even though it will kill me. sounds pretty resigned. I will do it even if it will kill me. meaning I'm sure it will kill me and I'm willing to do it anyway. –  Sam Mar 30 '11 at 5:55
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