However

An old-fashioned rule was that you shouldn’t start a sentence with however, but today however is often used at the beginning of a sentence to mean ‘but’, ‘nevertheless’ or ‘regardless of the fact’.

When you use however at the beginning of a sentence, use a comma after it.

However, the other alternative looks more attractive.

As well as indicating a pause, the comma distinguishes however meaning ‘in whatever way’.

However, you decide.
However you decide.

You can also use however near the beginning of a sentence to mean ‘but’, ‘nevertheless’ or ‘regardless of the fact’. It is often used this way for emphasis.

The 2010–2011 Federal Budget was no fiscal revolution. It did, however, mark the first ‘real’ step towards tax reform following the Henry Review.

When you use however in the middle of a sentence to separate two clauses, it is usually separated with a semicolon and a comma (... ;however,…). Many modern writers use a comma instead of the semicolon, but the semicolon is still regarded as more correct.

The 2010–2011 Federal Budget was no fiscal revolution; however, it did mark the first ‘real’ step towards tax reform following the Henry Review.

You can avoid the semicolon if you replace however with but or yet.

The 2010–2011 Federal Budget was no fiscal revolution, but it did mark the first ‘real’ step towards tax reform following the Henry Review.

However, when used to mean ‘no matter how’ or ‘in whatever way’ doesn’t need commas.

I want you to finish your report today however busy you are.

Online grammar programs

If you want to learn more about grammar, register for one of Mary’s online grammar courses at www.onlinewritingtraining.com.au

 
 

online grammar
Copyright © 2013 All Rights Reserved

Design by mel anderson | Webdev by tony cosentino