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For example:

(1) They have been talking for months. Though there is still no deal.

(2) They have been talking for months. There is still no deal, though.

Are they equal? Or should one of them be preferred to another one?

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2 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

In (1), though is a subordinator and, as such, it cannot begin a sentence. The two sentences need to be rewritten as They have been talking for months, though there is still no deal.

In (2), though is an adverb, and can occur quite properly at the end of the second sentence.

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Oh, thanks. Good to learn this. But then, which one should is better now? –  Yang Chi Nov 15 '11 at 22:19
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@Yang Chi: Barrie's rewrite is rather unusual phrasing, so you should stick with your version (2). The construction X, though Y is normally used when Y is something that should make X more likely to be true, but for some reason this hasn't happened. Think of though as being replaced by despite the fact that. The more "natural" rewrite is There is still no deal, though they have been talking for months. Though personally I would move though to be the first word of the sentence. :) –  FumbleFingers Nov 15 '11 at 22:41
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@Yang Chi: I agree, it is unusual, but I retained the original word order to keep it simple. As for the choice between the (corrected) first version and the second, I think there is a difference in pragmaitc terms. The first is relatively colourless, whereas the second suggests a pursing of the lips and a mournful shaking of the head, with a distraught pause between the two sentences. –  Barrie England Nov 16 '11 at 12:53
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Sample (2) is correct usage; sample (1) is not. To use "though" at the beginning of a sentence, the sentence must include both the claus dependent on "though" and the main clause, such as follows

Though there is still no deal, they have been talking for months.

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I think that as written, your example is awkward to read, and may not be correct. Is "although" not the better word for beginning of a sentence? As in: "Although there is no deal yet, they have been talking for months." –  Ahmed Masud Nov 16 '11 at 0:18
    
They can both be used. I think they are more or less interchangable (based on which sounds better), but there may be a rule governing which is better for a particular case. –  Jim Nov 16 '11 at 2:06
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