English Vocabulary – EVEN: even though, even if, even when…

http://www.engvid.com Even English users sometimes have a problem with this word. EVEN has specific uses and knowing how to apply it will help you emphasize and point out surprising information. In this lesson we will see the word EVEN used in many ways, even though it might surprise you how. Take a quiz on this lesson here: http://www.engvid.com/english-vocabulary-even/


Hi again. Welcome back to www.engvid.com. I’m Adam, and today’s lesson comes from a very common question I get from students. Students sometimes ask me… Like they ask me a question about grammar or whatever, and sometimes I say: “You know what? I’m not sure. I’ll tell you tomorrow or I’ll tell you the next day”, etcetera. And then they say to me: “But you’re the teacher, you should know.” And I say to them, you know: “Even teachers sometimes need to learn and to continuously grow and find out new things for their students.” And then of course the next question is: “What is ‘even’?” And I say: “Okay, well there’s your… our next lesson.” Right? So today’s word: “even”. Many students… like they hear it all the time, but they don’t really understand how it’s being used. So today, I’m going to give you some examples because that’s the best way to understand this word. Most of you have seen it as: “even though”, “even if”, or: “even when”. There are other uses which we’re going to look at in a minute, but first let’s go over these.

But first, what does..? What does the word: “even” suggest? Okay? When you use the word: “even”, you’re talking about something that’s very surprising. Okay? It’s against expectation. What is “expectation”? When you think something will happen because something else happened. For example: if I win a million dollars, you will… You would expect that I will buy a big house or that I will go on vacation or that I will stop working. Okay? So what we’re going to see is that sometimes what you think will happen is exactly the opposite or different from what actually happens, and then that’s when you use the word: “even”.

Let’s look at the first example: “Even though I was late, my boss wasn’t angry.” Now, you would think: “You’re late, your boss is angry.” But I’m stressing that what should have been the case, he should have been angry or she should have been angry, but wasn’t, even though I was late. So it’s a very surprising situation. If I used only “though”: “Though I was late, my boss wasn’t angry.” This just shows a regular contrast. Okay? Late should equal angry, it wasn’t. This shows surprise because usually my boss gets angry when I’m late, – not that I’m late often -, but when I’m late, my boss gets really angry. But today, no, today my boss was calm, nothing going on. He must have had a good weekend, I don’t know.

Now: “if”: “If I win the lottery, I won’t have enough money to buy a house.” That doesn’t make sense. If you win the lottery, you have a lot of money so that’s why I’m using: “if”. And when I use: “if”, I’m also adding the negative, the opposite of what is expected. “Even if I win the lottery, I won’t have enough money to buy a house.” Okay? It depends how much the lottery is. I think Lotto 649, that’s the lottery in Ontario, I think it’s three million right now. In Toronto, that’ll buy you a little house, maybe. So: “Even if I win”.

Now: “even when”. “If” is a hypothetical; maybe it will happen, maybe it won’t happen, probably not. “When” we use for more realistic ideas, when something happens. “Even when he presented the evidence,” – when he showed proof that something happened -, “no one believed him.” Now, you think evidence, if somebody sees evidence, they believe what you’re saying. But even when he presented the evidence, they didn’t believe him. Very strange. I can… I put the word here “after”: “Even after he showed the evidence…” If you want to talk about time lapse, this is… “When” shows at that time, “after” means later, but both work the same way in this sentence. Okay? So again: “even” means surprising or against expectations, but we are not limited to these three expressions.

Let’s look at some more. Okay, now another thing to remember about this word: “even” is that it sometimes gives you extra information. Just by using this word, you should be able to understand something else. Okay? So let’s look at these examples.

“No one thought Tom’s joke was funny, not even Kathy.” Now, only from this sentence, what can you understand about Kathy? One: you can understand that she always thinks Tom’s jokes are funny, so that’s why it’s a little surprise that even she didn’t think this was funny or you think that Kathy always laughs at every joke. Okay? So something about Kathy you can understand from this sentence even though it’s not mentioned; you understand something about her personality or about her relationship with Tom, etcetera. Obviously, we need more information to know exactly what, but you understand that there’s something else because of this word.

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