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The policeman, running with all his speed, was scarcely able to overtake the thief.

Which of the following sentence best describes the above sentence?

A: The policeman ran with all his speed and was scarcely able to overtake the thief.

B: Although the policeman ran with all his speed, he was scarcely able to overtake the thief.

I think the second one is better because a class of concession is implied by the participle phrase.

Am I right?

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    This is an awkward combination of "negative polarity" and "positive polarity" elements. I think in your context, just managed [to do something] is more natural than was scarcely able [to do it]. And if you made that change, you definitely wouldn't include although. Perhaps Running at top speed, the policeman just managed overtake the thief. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica May 1 at 14:03
  • It's impossible to give an objective answer as to which is better. It's a matter of style, personal taste, and interpretation. – Jason Bassford Supports Monica May 1 at 17:11
  • @Jason are both of these correct? – user93387 May 2 at 15:10
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    Both sentences are a grammatical and they both make sense, clearly conveying the situation. – Jason Bassford Supports Monica May 2 at 15:13
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    The given sentence says the policeman did overtake the thief, although with little if any margin to spare. I don't see how this can be termed "concession". – David Siegel May 3 at 5:17
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I think the first one would be a better choice. Because if we choose the second one, we would accept the reality that if the policeman runs with all speed, he overtakes the thief easily. But in the main sentence there is no such information.If we change the main sentence as "The policeman, running with all his speed, though was scarcely able to overtake the thief", then the second one would be a better choice.

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