Did you know that the etymology of the word “However” dates back to the 14th century? Fast forward to the 21st century, it’s still relevant and widely used. It’s an adverb mainly used to contradict a sentence from a previous statement. However, finding synonyms for the word can often be difficult to pick from. And knowing which synonym to use for each setting can be complex (especially when learning English).
Other ways to say “however”
- Just the same
- All the same
- For all that
- Be that as it may
- No matter how
- The term “However” is versatile and can be placed in different positions in a sentence.
- “Despite this” or “Notwithstanding” can be used instead of “However” for formal writing.
- Using “But” and “Still” can be great alternatives for informal letters or emails
Positioning ‘However’ in a sentence: meaning and uses
The term has been around for centuries, and as straightforward as it looks, it’s not. It can mean different things on how it’s placed in a sentence. Even professional writers get into a minor state of confusion on how to place the word.
Another doubt is its comparison with conjunctions like ‘but’ and ‘and.’ Know that ‘however’ is an adverb and not a conjunction but performs its duties when the need arises.
It’s used in a text to join two independent clauses to make a single sentence. You can use it in the middle of a phrase without or with punctuation or start a statement.
For those unclear about its meaning, it means “in whatever manner or way.” You can use it in place of “despite,” “notwithstanding,” “nevertheless, etc.”
How To Use ‘However’ In A Sentence
The term ‘however’ in a text generally contradicts its preceding statement. It’s incorporated in a sentence as an adverb with a comma, which may vary accordingly.
However strong, vodka can’t make me drunk.
Sometimes, it’s also like a conjunction to bring two simple sentences together. More like it’s used as a ‘conjunctive adverb.’ The two clauses may be contrasting or have opposing statements.
The HR agreed to pay interns; however, it hasn’t been implemented yet.
We dare say English is more complicated and more complex than mathematics. Some may eye roll to this statement, but it is what it is. It’s complex as there are so many variations. In this case, you can see from the above examples how the placement of a word and punctuation can change the entire context of a sentence.
‘Despite’ or ‘notwithstanding’ are good alternatives to the word ‘however’ (Formal)
If you want to use other terms instead of ‘however’, there are some good substitutes. For formal writing, such as emails and legal or business correspondence, you can use ‘Notwithstanding’ or ‘Despite’. These are the strongest synonyms in the formal context to convey the same feeling in a text.
While ‘however’ suits both formal and informal text, you can use these alternatives to make it more refreshing and crisper. Check below the examples that will help you understand better:
I am writing this mail to inform you about the overdue payments that are yet to be paid. You have not replied to our emails despite sending several notifications. We hope to hear from you soon. Failing to do so will compel us to take legal measures.
It’s with immense gratitude I write this letter to show my appreciation for your contribution to our club. Notwithstanding the busy schedule, you took time and came to support us for this good cause. We are indebted to your kindness and dedication.
Using ‘Still’ and ‘But’ in an informal letter or sentence
‘But’ and ‘Still’ are common substitutes for ‘However.’ While ‘but’ is a conjunction, it’s applicable as it brings out the same meaning.
Here is an example:
- Our operating profit was good in the first half, but the overall performance was lackluster.
- Our operating profit was good in the first half; however, the overall performance was lackluster.
As you can see, the punctuation varies for both, but (see what we did there) they bring two negative or contradicting texts together.
Wondering how to use ‘but’ instead of ‘however’ in an informal text? Here are some examples:
- She agreed to join us on the trip but backed out at the eleventh hour.
- My brother loves prawns, but he is allergic to them, sadly.
- My mom lovingly made chicken stew for me, but the doctor told me not to avoid non-vegetarian food for a week.
- I love my best friend, but she can be pretty annoying at times.
You can also use ‘still’ as an alternative to ‘however’. Check some of the examples below:
- Though she appeared in the math exam sick, she managed to outscore her peers.
- He worked hard for the presentation but still failed to impress her superiors.
Here are some more possibilities for using other close alternatives instead of ‘however’:
- He was illiterate, yet managed to build his business empire.
- Though illiterate, he manages to build his business empire nevertheless.
- Regardless of his illiteracy, he manages to build his business empire.
Understanding the context of the sentence is important to use the alternatives accurately. You should also know the grammar usage, including parts of speech.
For instance, ‘but’ is a conjunction, which is used as a link to connect a sentence.
Here is an example:
- “I love my best friend, but she can be pretty annoying at times.” This sentence is a contrasting conjunction.
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.