1

I’m not quite sure that the following sentence is gramatically correct. If it is, I wonder where I should put the comma or commas in the sentence using albeit.

Obesity rates amongst men, whose figures were, albeit, lower than the aforementioned two groups, increased gradually to approximately 15% of the male population.

2
  • 2
    No, this is wrong. You're niching albeit inside the clause it sposta introduce, and you can do that with some conjunctions; just not with albeit, which falutes too high for that kind of colloquiality. You'd do better to use although (and drop aforementioned, which is a strictly legal term). In fact, you're trying to do too much in one sentence, and should probly start over. At least if your objective is clarity of expression and not impressing your readers with your vocabulary. Commented Jun 25, 2014 at 16:29
  • Albeit is just short for although it be; the scarcity of proper uses for the latter accounts for the rarity of the former. You could probably say Obesity rates in men, albeit their figures were lower than the other two groups, increased..., but why would you want to? Commented Jun 25, 2014 at 16:31

1 Answer 1

3

I had to read the sentence four times to make sense of it. It is far too convoluted—and quite needlessly so.

Albeit is a conjunction, and as such, it should not be separated from the element (i.e., the word or the clause) that it sets off. It can be used either to start a finite clause (with a verb), or a non-finite clause (including single words)—most commonly the latter. It cannot, however, be placed in the middle of a finite clause that it introduces, just like other conjunctions can’t: it must be placed at the beginning of that clause.

In your example here, the clause initiated by albeit is “whose figures where lower than the aforementioned two groups”. First off, whose has to go, because conjunctions like albeit cannot head a relative clause (which is what a relative pronoun like whose heads); it must be substituted by the appropriate personal or demonstrative pronoun, in this case their: “albeit (that) their figures were lower than the aforementioned two groups”.

You can have albeit initiate this entire clause, but it is quite heavy and clumsy to read; you would be better off by doing what is very commonly done when using albeit with a copular clause like this one: delete the subject (which is already there in the main clause, anyway) and the copula, and keep only the predicate. That way, albeit initiates a non-finite clause, consisting in this case of an adjective plus a preposition and its object: “albeit lower than the aforementioned two groups”.

That would leave you with a much more acceptable sentence:

Obesity rates among men, albeit lower than the aforementioned two groups, increased gradually to approximately 15% of the male population.

I would probably leave out “of the male population” at the end, though: it’s quite obvious that the 15% refers only to the male population, since we’re talking about obesity rates in men. And as @JohnLawler said in his comment, aforementioned is much too bombastic—just use previous or other instead:

Obesity rates among men, albeit lower than the previous/other two groups, gradually increased to approximately 15%.

0

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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