7

But during the trip, she hardly spoke with him. In fact, she hardly spoke with anyone in the group. She would just follow us quietly to whereever we went, like a little stray cat. Though she spent most of her time sitting on the wooden steps that led to the beach, gazing vacantly at the blue ocean.

Is though the right option in the sentence above? Is it common to use it that way? Or should I use something else instead?

  • 2
    Are you writing this or did you find this somewhere? 'Though' is not your problem; the sentence in that quote starting with 'though' is not a complete sentence. – Mitch Jul 31 '13 at 12:43
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    It’s fine. Why would you think it wasn’t? You still need the second half of the sentence, though: “Although she spent most of her time […], something else needs to be here too.” (There are some other typos and errors in the paragraph, too: hardy -> hardly; in group -> in the group; siting in -> sitting on) – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jul 31 '13 at 12:44
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    @Janus, so "though", there, is perfectly replaceable with "albeit"? – user19148 Jul 31 '13 at 13:01
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    @Carlo_R., no, not really. ‘Though’ in this usage is very common, whereas ‘albeit’ is almost never used to introduce a finite clause, especially not without ‘that’. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jul 31 '13 at 13:16
  • @Janus, thank you, your answer is pretty instructive. – user19148 Jul 31 '13 at 13:22
9

Grammatically, though is not the "right option" for the sentence because though is commonly used in a subordinate clause (Though I am hungry, I will not stop for lunch), in a participial phrase (Though bored beyond belief, Jonah continued reading), or as an adverb (Yeah, it was an impressive movie. A bit long, though).

A writer might take liberties and use though in the way that you have (a subordinate clause separated from its main clause by a period) for effect, especially with a long main clause and an impactful subordinate clause (Every morning from then on she would set out from her cabin at dawn to wander through the forest, enjoying the smell of pine and the sweet relief of solitude. Though she never completely forgot Ted.). This is not as common as using coordinating conjunctions in this way (and, but, or...), as you've done at the beginning of your passage. But it is not unheard of.

Alternative words might include: however, still, yet, and other concession words. Still, the preceding sentence tells us that she would "follow us whenever we went", which I presume should be "wherever". For this reason, writing that she "spent most of her time sitting on the wooden steps" seems contradictory, unless the "we" rarely went anywhere.

  • Welcome to EL&U! Nice first answer :) – toryan Jul 31 '13 at 15:36
  • Sentence fragments used judiciously are usually considered quite acceptable in all but very formal contexts. – Edwin Ashworth Jun 13 '17 at 21:58
5

The sentence where you used though at the beginning, seems incomplete. All you can do is, combine the last two sentences by removing the full-stop and starting though with a small t.

She would just follow us quietly to whenever we went, like a little stray cat, though she spent most of her time sitting on the wooden steps that led to the beach, gazing vacantly at the blue ocean.

Or you can just remove the though.

She would just follow us quietly to whenever we went, like a little stray cat. She spent most of her time sitting on the wooden steps that led to the beach, gazing vacantly at the blue ocean.

4

No, it is not the right option, and while some sentences may begin with though, your "sentence" is not a sentence!

It would be a sentence if it were worded as follows (it includes corrected spelling in brackets):

"Though she spent most of her time [sitting on] the wooden steps that led to the beach, gazing vacantly at the blue ocean, she gradually came out of her shell and began talking to us in very short sentences."

If you want to start a sentence with though, make sure you complete the thought you started with though.

"Though I was not inclined initially to attend the party, I decided at the last minute to go, if only to get a free meal."

"Though reluctant, I acceded to her request."

"Though retired, he kept busy with his hobbies."

This kind of sentence structure works well when you are contrasting two different ideas side-by-side. As you can tell from my examples, after the "though" section of the sentence it is good to insert a personal pronoun. The following sentence, for example, would not be correct:

"Though retired, his hobbies kept him busy."

This sentence gives the impression the man's hobbies retired, and not the man himself!

  • It's a fragment, but few would consider that a wrong option per se. – Edwin Ashworth Jun 13 '17 at 21:59
  • @EdwinAshworth: Fair enough. I'm all for bending rules if the writer accomplishes the effect he or she is after. The "sentence" (viz., Though she spent most of her time sitting on the wooden steps that led to the beach, gazing vacantly at the blue ocean) just seems to leave things up in the air, at least from the way I read it. A more effective sentence might begin with, "She spent most of her time sitting . . .." No need for "though," in my opinion. Or put a comma instead of a period after "cat," and change "Though" to "though", and that would work too. Don – rhetorician Jun 13 '17 at 23:34
  • I wondered why you'd posted there. 'Bending rules' demands that there are rules there to bend. We've had the debate about the correct use and misuse of sentence fragments here before. Here, you make a general statement based on considerations of grammar per se, not just on this particular example. I'm arguing against this per-se-non-grammatical stance. In conversation, if 'Hello' or 'On the table' (in sensible context) were objected to on grounds of grammar, the person doing the objecting would be objectionable. In non-formal writing, judicious use of fragments is equally acceptable. – Edwin Ashworth Jun 13 '17 at 23:39

protected by tchrist Mar 1 '15 at 18:59

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