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We still haven't got a sponsor although the fact that we've written to dozens of companies.

What's wrong with ‘although’ in the sentence above?

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3 Answers 3

We still haven't got a sponsor although the fact that we've written to dozens of companies

is not a sentence.

While "We still haven't got a sponsor" is an independent clause, "although the fact that we've written to dozens of companies" is not a clause because "the fact that we've written to dozens of companies" is merely a noun phrase.

One could fix this in two ways, while sticking closely to the original form.

  1. Replace although with despite:

    We still haven't got a sponsor despite the fact that we've written to dozens of companies.

  2. Remove "the fact that":

    We still haven't got a sponsor although we've written to dozens of companies.

In both cases, one gets an independent clause ("We still haven't got a sponsor") followed by a dependent clause ("despite the fact that we've written to dozens of companies"/"although we've written to dozens of companies") and, hence, a complete sentence.

The last thing one should do for punctuational correctness is to separate the clauses with a comma:

  • We still haven't got a sponsor, despite the fact that we've written to dozens of companies.
  • We still haven't got a sponsor, although we've written to dozens of companies.

These are two sentences that clearly express what I think is the intended meaning of the original fragment.

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I think the sentences without the commas are fine. A dependent clause does not need a comma before it unless the dependent clause is supplementary or nonrestrictive to the meaning of the sentence (which does not seem to be the case here). The use of the word "still" in the independent clause seems to make the dependent clause important to the meaning of the sentence. –  Tragicomic Jan 10 '11 at 9:34
    
I seem to remember being taught to avoid the verb "to get" in formal writing, so if necessary, you could instead say, "We still don't have a sponsor...". –  Steve Melnikoff Jan 10 '11 at 21:25

The primary glaring issue is the inappropriate use of "although" there. If you replace that with "despite" you'll be much closer to a good sentence.

If it were something I was writing, I would probably phrase it like this:

We still don't have a sponsor, despite having written to dozens of companies.

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3  
I think the comma you've included in your suggestion is optional, and I personally would remove it. –  Rosey28 Jan 10 '11 at 6:53

IMO, a better option would be:

Despite having written to dozens of companies, we still don't have a sponsor.

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