though you shouldn't even touch E, since it contains unnecessary <be able>
тАЬCONTRASTтАЭ CONJUNCTIONS тАУ ALTHOUGH,
INSPITE OF, DESPITE, BUT
We have seen previously how to use the contrast conjunction тАЬbutтАЭ in order to express a contrasting
situation. тАЬI took the GMAT but I did not apply to a Graduate School of Business.тАЭ The normal expectation
is that if one takes the GMAT, then one applies to the Graduate School of Business.
тАЬBUTтАЭ tells us that the normal expectation was belied in the situation described.
Consider another example:
тАЬChinese Scientists had long known that the flow of blood was a continuous circle controlled by the heart,
BUT the discovery was unnoticed in the west.тАЭ
The contrast described is that the phenomenon was known in one part of the world but the other part of the
world was completely oblivious of it.
In some sentences, we will be required to express a positive or a negative contrast.
ALTHOUGH is a conjunction used to express a positive outcome in the face of a negative quality.
EVEN THOUGH is an extreme although. тАЬAlthough it was raining, we went to the movies.тАЭ тАЬEven though it
was snowing heavily and the roads were treacherous, we went to the movies.тАЭ Do you see the extreme
situation presented in the sentence using тАШeven thoughтАЩ?
DESPITE or INSPITE OF is used to express a negative outcome in the face of a positive quality.
Although I did not prepare well for the test, I received a very high score in the 90 th percentile.
Although Chimpanzees have only half the human intelligence, they are remarkably perceptive.
Notice the тАЬalthough a negative, a positiveтАЭ
aspect to the above sentences.
Let us see how тАЬdespiteтАЭ or тАЬinspite ofтАЭ is correctly used.
тАЬDespite its enormous resources, the United States lags the third world countries in grade school
тАЬDespite the fact that we started early, we arrived at the destination very late.тАЭ
тАЬDespite their intelligence and advanced education, terrorists use their knowledge for evil purposes.тАЭ
Notice the тАЬdespite a positive, a negativeтАЭ aspect
to the above examples.
CAVEAT: GMAT answer choices do not normally use тАЬdespiteтАЭ correctly. Before you are tempted to pick
an answer choice using тАЬDespiteтАЭ or тАЬdespite havingтАЭ forms, check to see whether these expressions are
indeed used to express a negative outcome in the face of a positive quality.