He has introduced me to at least ten girlfriends. But we've also known each other for twenty years so...

Is it perfectly natural to include 'also' here if the second sentence is used to explain the high number mentioned in the first sentence?

  • Why does the number need 'defending'? Jan 29, 2022 at 22:32
  • I don't much like the idea of using also here to convey the fact that "at least ten girlfriends" isn't necessarily a ridiculously high number, given that it averages out at just one every couple of years. That's because also = additionally is normally used to introduce something completely different, not "something that explains a preceding statement". Personally, I'd achieve that second effect by placing heavy stress on the verb: ...but [then again] we have known each other 20 years (where optional then again also alerts the audience as to what's coming next). Mar 4, 2022 at 14:55
  • This is not a question about English; The "also" thing re knowing someone would apply to any language.
    – Lambie
    Mar 4, 2022 at 16:09

1 Answer 1


Your "also" seems fine, but in saying that I need to make an assumption about exactly why you feel that the number of girlfriend introductions even needs an explanation at all (see @Michael Harvey's in-comment question about precisely that).

It's not difficult to guess; presumably you are thinking that ten introductions could be seen as high if you had only known the other person for a relatively short period, yes? And certainly, ten introductions in a week or a month (say) could seem a lot. (So much so that, just by way of example, it might lead someone to wonder if these women were in fact "girlfriends", and if perhaps the introducer was actually a pimp!) So in the right context, your explanatory second sentence is perfectly reasonable.

My only change might be the position of the "also". As it stands, it could be seen to be operating solely on the word "known", leaving the potential for some cognitive dissonance in the reader as their brain thinks "Known as opposed to what?", whereas I'd rather it was clearer that it applied to the entire sentence. So, it could be rephrased as:

He has introduced me to at least ten girlfriends. But also we've known each other for twenty years so...

However, that is a wee bit clumsy to my ears, so I might rephrase more extensively, like this:

He has introduced me to at least ten girlfriends, although I should add that we've known each other for twenty years, so...

But I'm picking on very subtle nuances here. Your original is fine and would, I think, be understood by most people just as it is.

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