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Use of HOWEVER in sentences Options
EnglishFanatic92
Posted: Thursday, August 10, 2017 8:55:24 AM
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Hello all :)

As far as I know I could use the word "However" this way:

1) I liked the film. My mother, however, didn´t like it at all.

But I wonder if I could use it this way too:

2) We agreed, however, when we came back to our room, nothing had changed.

Thanks a lot.
srirr
Posted: Friday, August 11, 2017 3:20:20 AM

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However is used to make a statement in contrast to what has been said earlier. In one of my communication skills classes, I was taught that however is on a positive side, while but is on a negative side when communicating about something that is in contrast. It makes the tone lighter.

In the second sentence, I do not see any first statement which is being contrasted. Perhaps with some context, the sentence may stand valid, however at present, it does not seem to.


We are responsible for what we are, and whatever we wish ourselves to be, we have the power to make ourselves. ~ Swami Vivekanand
sureshot
Posted: Friday, August 11, 2017 5:24:23 AM
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EnglishFanatic92 wrote:


Hello all :)

As far as I know I could use the word "However" this way:

1) I liked the film. My mother, however, didn´t like it at all.

But I wonder if I could use it this way too:

2) We agreed, however, when we came back to our room, nothing had changed.

Thanks a lot.

___________________

Here is what Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English has to say on the use of adverb "however"

However: used when you are adding a fact or piece of information that seems surprising, or seems very different from what you have just said [= nevertheless]:
- This is a cheap and simple process. However there are dangers.
- an extremely unpleasant disease which is, however, easy to treat

Here are two example sentences are from Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary:

- He is unlikely to succeed in getting his bill through Congress, however worthy it is.
- If you're an ostrich about your debts, you're only going to make matters worse: it would be much better to take your head out of the sand and face facts, however unpleasant.


The above-mentioned example sentences/phrases do not restrict the sense to "positive". I check the use of adverb "however" by omitting it. Sentence 2 becomes:
2) We agreed, when we came back to our room, (that) nothing had changed.

Therefore, the above sentence is correct. I assume, as mentioned by srirr that the sentence assumes meaning after linking the sense with the previous sentence (not mentioned in the given text).

Audiendus
Posted: Friday, August 11, 2017 7:27:11 AM
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EnglishFanatic92 wrote:
2) We agreed, however, when we came back to our room, nothing had changed.


This sentence contains two independent clauses: "We agreed" and "nothing had changed". Such clauses cannot be joined with only commas. They need to be split up. Depending on the meaning, you can say either:

We agreed. However, when we came back to our room, nothing had changed.

or

We agreed, however, when we came back to our room. Nothing had changed.

The first one looks more likely to be what is meant.


A third possibility would be to make "nothing had changed" into a dependent clause. You could then write it all as one sentence:

We agreed, however, that when we came back to our room, nothing had changed.

But I doubt that this gives the correct meaning.
NKM
Posted: Friday, August 11, 2017 11:11:31 AM

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Just change one or the other of those first two commas to a semicolon.

Audiendus
Posted: Friday, August 11, 2017 6:49:57 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

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NKM wrote:
Just change one or the other of those first two commas to a semicolon.


Yes, that is an alternative.
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