Take for example the two sentences "Ria was blind" and "Yet she became a lawyer." When we join these 2 sentences using a subordinating conjunction, which is correct and why?

"In spite of Ria being blind, she became a lawyer."


"In spite of being blind, Ria became a lawyer."

  • 1
    Not sure why though, but #1 seems to be wrong. Not sure how to explain it though, but I am very sure of it.
    – JFW
    Commented Mar 4, 2011 at 15:39
  • 1
    Probably has something to do with introduction of names. You wouldn't introduce Ria as a new name if it hadn't been mentioned prior unless you used the second sentence.
    – Neil
    Commented Mar 4, 2011 at 15:44
  • JFW thanks. I too felt the second option was correct.Butt I wanted to know the reason..just in case a student asked me..
    – GPEnglish
    Commented Mar 4, 2011 at 16:03

2 Answers 2


Both are possible. I agree that the second is more natural, but I would not be surprised to find the first as the opening sentence of a piece of writing, particularly fiction. To me it has a presentational quality, and is foregrounding her blindness.


In the first sentence, it seems that the subject of the first clause is different from the subject of the second clause. I would use it in a context where it is clear the subject of the sentence is only one.
Apart that, both the sentences have the same meaning.

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