City University of Hong Kong CLASS CLASS
Making Sense of Grammar
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asked Nov 22, 2022 in Questions about English Grammar by hopoon4 (280 points) | 271 views

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In Cantonese, it is common for us to say ‘雖然…但是’ since conjunctions are used at the beginning of the sentences and as linking devices of two sentences. Hong Kong students as L2 learners may imply Cantonese sentence structure to English. By translating ‘雖然’ into ‘Although’ and ‘但是’ into ‘But’. This leads to an extra conjunction is put into a sentence and the main clause is not identified.

Most students in Hong Kong were taught that ‘although’ and ‘but’ cannot be used together. However, they do not understand why, they just simply remember the rule. In fact, ‘although’ and ‘but’ can be used in one sentence, under a particular circumstance. For example, ‘A tree fell onto the school roof in a storm, but none of the students was injured, although many of them were in classrooms at the top of the building’. This sentence is grammatical, even putting ‘although’ and ‘but’ in the same sentence. ‘But’ is used as a subordinate conjunction to combine ‘A tree fell onto the school roof in a storm’ and ‘one of the students was injured’. ‘Although’ is used as a subordinate conjunction to combine ‘A tree fell onto the school roof in a storm, but none of the students was injured’ and ‘many of them were in classrooms at the top of the building’. The main clause of the sentence is ‘A tree fell onto the school roof in a storm’ and the subordinate clauses are ‘none of the students was injured’ and ‘many of them were in classrooms at the top of the building’. Ultimately, L2 learners in Hong Kong should understand the theory instead of just memorizing the rule.
answered Nov 22, 2022 by hopoon4 (280 points)
In Cantonese, it is common for us to say ‘雖然…但是’ since conjunctions are used at the beginning of the sentences and as linking devices of two sentences. Hong Kong students as L2 learners may imply Cantonese sentence structure to English. By translating ‘雖然’ into ‘Although’ and ‘但是’ into ‘But’. This leads to an extra conjunction is put into a sentence and the main clause is not identified.

Most students in Hong Kong were taught that ‘although’ and ‘but’ cannot be used together. However, they do not understand why, they just simply remember the rule. In fact, ‘although’ and ‘but’ can be used in one sentence, under a particular circumstance. For example, ‘A tree fell onto the school roof in a storm, but none of the students was injured, although many of them were in classrooms at the top of the building’. This sentence is grammatical, even putting ‘although’ and ‘but’ in the same sentence. ‘But’ is used as a subordinate conjunction to combine ‘A tree fell onto the school roof in a storm’ and ‘one of the students was injured’. ‘Although’ is used as a subordinate conjunction to combine ‘A tree fell onto the school roof in a storm, but none of the students was injured’ and ‘many of them were in classrooms at the top of the building’. The main clause of the sentence is ‘A tree fell onto the school roof in a storm’ and the subordinate clauses are ‘none of the students was injured’ and ‘many of them were in classrooms at the top of the building’. Ultimately, L2 learners in Hong Kong should understand the theory instead of just memorizing the rule.

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1,616 questions
1,882 answers
207 comments
15,645 users