However, ...

Subject: However, ...
From: Richard Mateosian <srm -at- C2 -dot- ORG>
Date: Sat, 9 Sep 1995 00:53:33 -0700

>I recently encountered a manager who said he had been taught that however
>is a conjunction and should be used basically the same way you use "but."

I learned (in tenth grade, 35 years ago) that the most common use of
"however" is as an adverbial connective. Other words used this way are
moreover, nevertheless, and but. I think there are eleven in all.

An adverbial connective appears at the start of an independent clause and is
always followed by a comma. If the clause does not begin the sentence, the
adverbial connective is preceded by a semicolon:

"I went to see him play; nonetheless, he did well."

"He prefers green to red; however, if he sees a red light, he'll stop."

"However" is also used another way:

"I believe, however, that this usage is less common."

In this case I believe it functions as an interjection, but I can't say that
authoritatively. ...RM

Richard Mateosian President, Berkeley STC
Freelance Technical Writer srm -at- c2 -dot- org Review Editor, IEEE Micro

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