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Neither one of your sentences is correct: you are attempting to splice together two independent clauses using a comma alone, which is a big no-no. Try these instead: No gifts please. We don’t need any orchids and we already have a toaster. No gifts please; we don’t need any orchids and we already have a toaster. No gifts please: we don’t need any orchids ...


2

The ambiguity arises in OP's rephrasing because in his version, [despite] losing could also mean having lost (a "completed", not a "continuous" action). The easiest way to avoid this is... Despite having been losing at half-time, City won in the end. The reason we don't normally use the above form is more fully explored by this answer on English ...


1

Not a very common use: Idioms & Phrases : would that I wish that, as in Would that I could stop working and go hiking with you. For a synonym, see if only.



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