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Training for a TOEIC exam, I got this question.

yet or although

Answers just and moreover are easily discarded.
The choices yet and although remain.

The correct (expected) answer is the first one.
I'm confused why.

Definitions:

  • although: in spite of the fact that; even though
  • yet: 1. up until the present or a specified or implied time; by now or then 2. still; even 3. in spite of that; nevertheless

According to this question about the difference between 'but' and 'yet', yet might be used when you have an element of surprise.
Is this true and the case here? Can you give me a definition showing this?

If the question had been:
_________, SO FAR, very few customers upgraded their accounts., I would have picked yet.


What makes the answer yet more correct than although?
Could the answer although be considered valid english (even if a "less" correct answer)?

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  • Although the new service was expected to be a success, very few customers upgraded their accounts. Very few customer upgraded their accounts, although the new service was expected to be a success. The new service was expected to be a success; (and) yet very few customers upgraded their accounts.
    – Centaurus
    Apr 17, 2020 at 13:56

1 Answer 1

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In this context, "yet" expresses a contrast between an implicit expectation and the factual result and signals the latter: "The new services was expected to be a success so customers could have gained some profit by upgrading their accounts. Yet (but/however) they didn't". You could also use "although", but the latter refers to the expectation and not to the result. So you would have to phrase it as: "Although the new service was expected [...], very few customers [...]".

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  • « expectation and not the result »: that was the key part to help me differentiate them. Thank you!
    – Guillaume
    Apr 17, 2020 at 13:36
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    You are welcome! I see your native language is French. In this case "yet" corrsponds to "cependant" and "although" to "bien que".
    – user373710
    Apr 17, 2020 at 13:38
  • You're happy with the semicolon before [yet]? Apr 17, 2020 at 13:52
  • @EdwinAshworth I am mostly happy regardless of linguistics. So I wouldn't "make an elefant out of a mosquito", as a literally translated German saying goes, out of this detail.
    – user373710
    Apr 17, 2020 at 13:56
  • In spite of << 'DO NOT use the semicolon in the following cases: ... Between complete sentences joined by and, nor, but, or, yet, so (coordinating conjunctions)' >> (from Saint Michael's College, VT) and << 'When a conjunction (words like and, but and or) is used to merge two independent clauses into one sentence, it is possible to use a semicolon before the conjunction to outrank any commas in the clause. (This practice is acceptable, but it is considered outdated these days .... Apr 17, 2020 at 14:11

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