English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Possible Duplicate:
Definition of “albeit” and how it's different from “although” (if it is)
Why don’t other pronouns get to albe-themselves, à la albeit’s “it”?

Albeit is defined as a way to express the phrase "although it be." But is it correct to use it to express "although they be"? E.g.

Their techniques were effective, albeit harsh.

Would this be acceptable?

share|improve this question

marked as duplicate by jwpat7, Kris, RegDwigнt May 6 '12 at 10:27

This question was marked as an exact duplicate of an existing question.

Thanks, Cameron! – ak84 May 6 '12 at 3:51
In the example sentence I would replace albeit with although: "Their techniques were effective, although harsh." – Dan D. May 6 '12 at 3:58
You could replace with "although", but I think "albeit" is a little more emphatic. From that point of view they're not 100% synonymous (though of course no "synonyms" really are). – Neil Coffey May 6 '12 at 4:29
I doubt that speakers of English today think of "albeit" as being a form of "although it be", which is [now] essentially ungrammatical, but rather they simply treat it as a fixed form. Or put another way: your sentence is fine. – Neil Coffey May 6 '12 at 4:33

Perfectly fine, though “albeit” is not conversational style. Remember that the word is an adverb, not a verbal phrase or anything like that. Its presumed history does not enter into the way it’s used.

share|improve this answer
Actually it's precisely its history that enters into the way it's used. Both you and the OP just presume the wrong history. The "it" in albeit does not refer back to the preceding noun. Much rather, it's the dummy it, like the one in "it's raining outside". Just like people would never say "they are raining outside", they also wouldn't say "although be they that". – RegDwigнt May 6 '12 at 10:38
That, and it isn't an adverb. – Cerberus May 6 '12 at 10:40

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.