Explaining “Although”


root: ف-س-ر / verbal noun of form II / plural: تَفاسير / meaning: explanation

The phrase “بالرغم مِن أنّ ــــــ إلّا أنّ ـــــــ” means “although”–but how do we actually use it and what goes where?

Arabic is similar to English when forming sentences with “although” in the sense that there are two parts and each part can stand alone as a sentence.

E.g. “Although I went shopping, I didn’t buy what I needed

You’ll notice that the two parts in English are separated by a comma (or a pause, in speech).

In Arabic, the two parts are instead separated as follows: the first part begins with بالرغم من أنّ and the second part is introduced with إلّا أنّ.

What’s important to note is that each of the two parts must be a nominal sentence (جملة اسمية). This means that both parts will either begin with a standalone noun or an attached pronoun added to أنّ.

Here’s an example:

بِالرَّغْمِ مِن أنّ هذِهِ الأَفكار قَد تَبدو مُتناقِضة إلّا أنّها مُتوافِقة في الواقِع

Although these ideas may seem contradictory, they are in fact compatible

So the first part is: هذه الأفكار قد تبدو متناقضة, a nominal sentence beginning with the noun phrase هذه الأفكار, “these ideas”.

And the second part is: هي) متوافقة في الواقع) where the “هي” materialises as the attached pronoun ـها on أنّ.

Simple as that!

Hope this was helpful, مع السلامة!

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