I'm not sure if these sample sentences below are grammatically incorrect, but they sound very odd to me.

  • I couldn't see the man even though actually he was there.
  • He still got hit even though quickly he jumped.
  • I often see cats even though actually only dogs are allowed here.

Are these sentences grammatically correct? Is there a particular grammar rule for using even though? Normally I would hear those sentences phrased like this:

  • I couldn't see the man even though he was actually there.
  • He still got hit even though he jumped quickly.
  • I often see more cats even though only dogs are actually allowed here.
  • I think the first and third would be OK if you put a comma after actually. The second is not OK. I believe the rule is that the phrase after even though should be acceptable as a sentence by itself.
    – Barmar
    Commented Oct 29, 2014 at 15:01
  • But even though the first and third would be grammatical, your rewordings sound preferable.
    – Barmar
    Commented Oct 29, 2014 at 15:02

6 Answers 6


What is at issue, I take it, is whether "even though" can be in construction with a following root sentence, or whether, on the other hand, only an ordinary sentence can be in construction with "even though". The category of root sentence was introduced into modern grammar by Joseph Emonds -- this is a sentence which occurs only independently and not as part of another construction. (Well, that's not the whole story -- root sentences can occur as part of a few other constructions.) Fronting the adverb in your unacceptable examples is possible only in a root sentence, and this is why the sentence with the fronted adverb, since it is a root sentence, cannot occur as complement to "even though", because then it would be part of another grammatical construction.


There are potentially three things at issue:

  • grammatical correctness
  • colloquial usage
  • style recommendations

All six sentence are grammatically correct. The last three sentences "sound" correct because they are consistent with common colloquial usage. A style guide would recommend that the adverb should, in most cases, immediately follow the verb or be as close to it as possible. (Naturally there are always exceptions to guidelines.)

  • 1
    I don't think that's quite true. The non-marked place for a manner adverb , eg quickly, would be after the complements of the verb, if there are any: ... he jumped quickly for instance. Commented Oct 29, 2014 at 23:04

I couldn't see the man, even though he was actually there. Even though he jumped quickly, he still got hit. Actually, even though only dogs are allowed here, I often see (many) cats. Many being necessary, IMHO, otherwise it would be rather a non statement, who cares if you see a cat or two!

The three examples of yours just seemed awkward, and not saying mine are much better, but lots of ways you can switch things around to make them flow better. Remember these exercises from college, they can be challenging, just play around with the words and see what rolls off the tongue better and take it from there. These things can be quite fun and great practice for your writing skills.


With regard to punctuation: I don't agree with Barmar about the commas. Notice that several of the re-phrasings suggested by others include a comma before the "even". This is the more important place to put a comma; by itself, it improves any of the examples originally cited in the question, even without re-phrasing.


This has nothing to do with the use of "even though". To see this, simply consider each dependent clause on its own: 1) Actually he was there, 2) Quickly he jumped, 3) Actually only dogs are allowed here. You can see that the ones that start with "actually" are fine, as long as a comma is added after that word. Example 2 is grammatically correct, but it's an unusual word order, which makes it sound odd. That's all that's going on here.


You should put these adverbs after the verbs. You may put them elsewhere, but it is awkward.

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.