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Is it grammatically permissible by the rules of Standard English for the coordinating conjunction ‘yet’ to follow a subordinating conjunction? For example, take the sentence:

Although it is early, yet still I must rise.

This seems to make sense and be correct to me, but if I substitute another coordinating conjunction, say ‘but’, it no longer seems so:

Although it is early, but still I must rise.

It seems that the semantics of ‘but’ are what create a problem here, though instead of the grammar, but I can't seem to form any valid subordinating + coordinating sentence except if I use ‘yet’, so I'm not sure.

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    I may be at risk of sounding a fool here, but I don't understand why you'd want to use both. The example you provide is awkward and redundant, and would work better with only one conjunction. – crisis.sheep Jul 24 '12 at 7:01
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    @Chris - Have you got permission from the original poster at able2know to repost here? – Matt E. Эллен Jul 24 '12 at 7:50
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    @Matt The Gravatar is identical on the two postings. – Andrew Leach Jul 24 '12 at 7:56
  • @AndrewLeach — well spotted! I guess there's nothing to worry about then. – Matt E. Эллен Jul 24 '12 at 8:20
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This is archaic but poetic. It's an example of an anapaestic tetrameter (although it really needs another unstressed syllable right at the start) — four feet of "da da DUM":

But although it is early, yet still I must rise.

As @crisis said, it's redundant, but redundancy can be employed for particular effect, as here.

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I'd argue the problem with the sentence "Although it is early, yet still I must rise" is that "although" and "yet" are redundant. Both imply a contradiction, so only one should be necessary.

Consequently, I'd use either "Although it is early, I must still rise", or "It is early, yet still I must rise".

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As a conjunction is a joining unit, it isn't necessary to use more than one for a single purpose. As you mentioned, writing "but" in place of "yet" doesn't sound right. That's because it isn't, and writing "yet" is similarly so.

If there is a sense in which "yet" does fit this context, it is obsolete.

  • The Corpus of Contemporary American English has 700 phrases using yet still. – kiamlaluno Jul 24 '12 at 7:59
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    Your logic about not using two conjunctions together sounds plausible, and yet seems to me to be missing something. It may be redundant, but when used to good effect, can work well. – user16269 Jul 24 '12 at 9:06
  • Ha ha. Touché, good fellow. – crisis.sheep Jul 24 '12 at 9:12

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