Concession and contrast

Concession means accepting one part of a state of affairs but putting another argument or fact against it.

Although they were poor, they were independent.

He is a bit stupid. He’s very kind, nevertheless.

Verbs of concession

example paraphrase and comments

I acknowledge/accept that he has -> I agree but…

worked hard but it isn’t enough. [accept is less formal than acknowledge]

I admit I was wrong, but I still -> I accept I’m guilty of what I’m accused of.

think we were right to doubt her.

I concede that you are right -> You have won this point

about the goal, but not the method. in our argument, [formal]

Adverbs and other phrases for concession

OK, you’re sorry. That’s all well and good, but how are you going to pay us back?

You shouldn’t seem so surprised. After all, I did warn you.

It’s all very well saying you love dogs, but who’ll take it for walks if we do get one?

He is boring, and he is rather cold and unfriendly, but, for all that, he is your uncle and we should invite him.

Admittedly, she put a lot of effort in, but it was all wasted.


I expected Mr Widebody to be fat. The reverse was true.

We’re not almost there at all; quite the opposite. We’ve got five miles to go yet.

Everywhere in Europe they use metric measures. In contrast, Britain still uses non-metric. It’s not actually raining now. On the other hand, it may rain later, so take the umbrella.

Remember: On the other hand means ‘that is true and this is true’; On the contrary means ‘that is not true, but this is true’, e.g. John, quiet? On the contrary, he’s the noisiest person

I know or John is rather arrogant. On the other hand, he can be very kind.

Note also these collocating phrases for contrast.

When it comes to politics, Jim and Ann are poles apart.

There’s a world of difference between being a friend and a lover.

There’s a great divide between left and right wing in general.

A yawning gap divides rich and poor in many countries.

There’s a huge discrepancy between his ideals and his actions.