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I wrote a sentence that didn't sound right to my ears.

As a leader, he did not act accordingly.

What I intended to say was:

even though he was the leader, he did not act accordingly, as he has all the time.

But it sounded like:

because he was the leader, he did not act accordingly and was supposed to do so (was supposed to not act accordingly".

See the problem?

However, I am not a native speaker, and the semantic validity is sometimes hard to exactly comprehend, so I just showed it to my friend (native) and he though it sounded just fine. But I did not think that he understood the intention of the sentence, so I came up with an alternate sentence, which sounded more valid than the previous one.

Even as a leader, he did not act accordingly.

This time, my friend disapproved of the sentence, saying he didn't like this "even" in front of "as". This got me confused.

Does my first sentence align more with the meaning I intended than the second sentence, or does the second sentence sound more like what I meant to say than the first one?

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Summary of my Answer: Your first sentence is OK. Your last sentence (with "even") sounds odd (no pun intended).

I will comment sentence by sentence.

(1) Your first sentence sounds OK and means that he did not act as a leader should act.

As a leader, he did not act accordingly.

(2) My confusion comes with your second sentence:

Even though he was the leader, he did not act accordingly, as he has all the time.

This could mean that he has never acted as a leader, or it could mean that he usually acts as a leader, but not in this one case.

If you meant that the leader has never acted as a leader, say: "Even though he is the leader, he has never acted as a leader should act."

If you mean that the leader has, in one instance, not acted as a leader, say: "Although he is usually a good leader, in the case of X he did not act as a leader should."

(3) I cannot understand your third sentence:

Because he was the leader, he did not act accordingly and was supposed to do so (was supposed to not act accordingly.

(4) As for your fourth sentence:

Even as a leader, he did not act accordingly.

This sounds odd. There seems to be something missing; you need to be specific.

The first sentence says he didn't act as a leader should act. Vague, but OK.

The fourth sentence says Even though he was a leader, he didn't do X. The fourth sentence, with "even" implies that he didn't do something that we would expect from non-leaders, as well as from leaders. For example, because this is a family situation you might say: "Even as a leader, he did not set a good example for the children."

  • Just to clarify, this leader has been the leader of a family for a long time but does not act like a proper leader. However, I do not know if he usually does not act like a leader, or always act like a leader but did not act like a leader in just one instance. – prelude Jan 16 '16 at 19:45
  • Also, thank you for your kind answer, but I must say, I have not received an answer for the question I asked. Does the use of "as", alone in the sentence without "even", sound strange to you? Or does the sentence with "even" sound more strange? Or are both of them wrong semantically? – prelude Jan 16 '16 at 19:48
  • Thank you! I see the point. So the first one is saying that "while being a leader, he did not act like a leader", and second one is saying that "even when being a leader, he did not do something that can be generalized, not confined to the leaders", right? – prelude Jan 17 '16 at 0:44
  • Yes. Although the English would be better as: "even when being a leader, he did not do things that even non-leaders should do." I hope the use of two "evens" in one sentence is not confusing. (If this has been helpful, you might want to click on the upward arrow over the 0 (upvote.)) – ab2 Jan 17 '16 at 0:52
  • I surely will!! – prelude Jan 17 '16 at 1:39
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The context isn't quite clear. That said, do consider this:

He never lived up to his billing as a leader.

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