What is 'concession'?
Look at the sentences below:
- Although he’s very rich, he lives a very simple life.
- Even though she’s in her 60s, she can run really fast.
These are examples of concession – sentences which begin with ‘although’ or ‘even though’ followed by an idea which suggests the opposite of the main part of the sentence.
Concession is often used to introduce an idea which is the opposite of what you might expect.
Can you think of an example about yourself?
e.g. Although I’m not a digital native, I’m quite good at using computers.
Although + [subject-verb-object], I [subject+verb+object].
Write your example in the comments.
How can I use concession in Speaking?
Exactly as you did above.
Concession allows you to make complex but natural sentences in your Speaking e.g.
Part 1/2 Questions about yourself
- ‘Although I’ve lived there for a long time, I don’t have many friends’.
- ‘Even though I’ve never been to Japan, I can speak Japanese really well’.
Part 3: Opinions
- ‘Even though most people distrust politicians, I think they do a great job’ (?!)
- ‘Although I agree that plastic should be banned, I think this will be very difficult to achieve’.
How can I use concession in writing?
Look at how Yogita uses concession in the Task 2 Conclusion below (IELTS Writing Task 2 Question: whose responsibility is it to transport children to school?):
In conclusion, although there may be additional costs involved in providing a school bus service, I think that this option has a number of benefits for both parents and children.
You can use concession in Task 2:
- When you want to say that the other side may be right or has a good point (but you don’t agree with it!).
- When you see an advantage, but you think overall it’s negative.
- When you see a disadvantage, but you think overall it’s positive.
It is a very advanced, mature and sophisticated way to sum up an essay and to show the examiner that you have considered both sides of the argument (even if you disagree with one of them) and that you are aware of the issues.
Are there any other ways of showing concession?
Many ‘contrast’ words can be used to express concession:
- Despite the significant costs of school transport, I believe it is the best option.
- School transport is expensive. However, I am of the opinion that it is the best option for both families and the environment.
- Transporting children to school by bus is undoubtedly a huge financial cost. Nevertheless, I would argue that it is by far the most environmentally-friendly option.
Can I use concession in Task 1?
Academic Task 1
- Although sales improved slightly during the first half of the period, this trend did not continue.
General Training Letter of Complaint
- Although I have made several calls to your help desk, I have yet to receive a an apology/refund/response.
Do you have any more examples?
Watch the video below to see how we practised using concession to write CONCLUSIONS.
You can follow the same pattern to write your own conclusion to any Task 2 question:
To conclude, although (show the other point of view first), I believe (show your point of view + reason).
What do you think is wrong in these sentences?
- Although there may be additional costs involved in providing a school bus service. I think that this option has a number of benefits.
- Although there may be additional costs involved in providing a school bus service. However, I think that this option has a number of benefits.
- Although there may be additional costs involved in providing a school bus service, but I think that this option has a number of benefits.
- There are TWO separate sentences. There should be only one sentence (with 2 clauses, separated with a comma)
- As above.
- There are TWO linking words (Although/but). You only need ONE linking word.
Although/Though there may be additional costs involved in providing a school bus service, I think that this option has a number of benefits.