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Anyway vs. Anyhow — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Updated on November 4, 2023
Anyway often suggests a change of subject or a return to the topic of discussion; anyhow can mean in any manner or by any means.
Anyway vs. Anyhow — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Anyway and Anyhow

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Key Differences

Anyway is commonly used to transition back to a previous topic or to conclude a statement, indicating a slight change of direction in conversation. Anyhow, while also used to redirect conversation, carries a connotation of carelessness or lack of concern for the method or manner in which something happens. Both terms are adverbs, but anyway is often used to convey a logical progression, whereas anyhow implies a more haphazard approach.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 04, 2023
When someone uses anyway, they might be dismissing previous information as irrelevant or less important to the main point they are making. Using anyhow might suggest that the means of achieving an end are not significant. Although both can be used interchangeably in casual speech, anyway tends to sound more formal than anyhow.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 04, 2023
Anyway can be used to reinforce a point despite obstacles or digressions, emphasizing persistence or conclusion. Anyhow might be used when the specifics are unknown or unimportant, signaling a generalization or acceptance of uncertainty. In writing, anyway is often chosen for clarity, while anyhow might be used for emphasis or to convey a more colloquial tone.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 04, 2023
In some contexts, anyway is used to signify "in any case" or "regardless," suggesting that the speaker is returning to the main point. Anyhow, on the other hand, might be used to indicate a method or means when the exact way is unimportant, often equivalent to "somehow." Both words can serve as discourse markers but are nuanced in their implications about the speaker's attitude toward the information being conveyed.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 04, 2023
Although both words function as adverbs that transition or dismiss previous statements, anyway is typically used to summarize or conclude, and anyhow can suggest a lack of specificity or precision. Both serve to connect thoughts but do so in slightly different ways, with anyway being the more precise and formal of the two.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 04, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Connotation

Often implies a logical continuation or return to a topic.
Implies a lack of concern for the specifics.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 04, 2023

Formality

Tends to be more formal and structured.
Is more casual and can imply haphazardness.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 04, 2023

Function in Discourse

Used to summarize, conclude or transition.
Used to express method or means non-specifically.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 04, 2023

Implication of Speaker’s Attitude

Indicates determination or the importance of the point.
Suggests flexibility or indifference to details.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 04, 2023

Typical Usage

Found more often in written and formal speech.
More common in spoken and informal language.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 04, 2023

Compare with Definitions

Anyway

Anyway can also indicate a conclusion.
We had many setbacks, but we completed the project anyway.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 04, 2023

Anyhow

It can also convey a haphazard approach.
The room was messy, with clothes thrown anyhow on the floor.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 04, 2023

Anyway

It often introduces a statement that follows from the previous one.
He wasn’t qualified, but he got the job anyway.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 04, 2023

Anyhow

Anyhow is often used when specifics are unimportant.
We need to get there on time; let's leave now, anyhow.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 04, 2023

Anyway

It serves to dismiss the previous topic or point.
I don’t like that movie; anyway, what do you want for dinner?
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 04, 2023

Anyhow

It is used to indicate a lack of precision or detail.
I’m not sure how to do it, but I’ll do it anyhow.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 04, 2023

Anyway

Anyway can mean regardless or in any case.
I knew it was risky, but I tried it anyway.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 04, 2023

Anyhow

Anyhow can mean in whatever way or manner.
Finish the task anyhow you can.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 04, 2023

Anyway

It is used to get back to the point.
That’s an interesting thought, but anyway, as I was saying...
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 04, 2023

Anyhow

Anyhow can introduce a casual or less relevant point.
I'm not good at sports; anyhow, it’s fun to play.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 04, 2023

Anyway

In any way or manner whatever
Get the job done anyway you can.
Tayyaba Rehman
Jul 09, 2018

Anyhow

In whatever way or manner; however
I'll cook it anyhow you like. They came anyhow they could—by boat, train, or plane.
Tayyaba Rehman
Jul 09, 2018

Anyway

In any case; at least
I don't know if it was lost or stolen.
Anyway, it's gone.
Tayyaba Rehman
Jul 09, 2018

Anyhow

In a careless way; haphazardly
Clothes stuffed anyhow into the suitcase.
Tayyaba Rehman
Jul 09, 2018

Anyway

Nevertheless; regardless
It was raining but they played the game anyway.
Tayyaba Rehman
Jul 09, 2018

Anyhow

In any case; at least
I think they're asleep.
Anyhow, they're quiet.
Tayyaba Rehman
Jul 09, 2018

Anyway

(conjunctive) Regardless; anyhow.
He didn't enjoy washing his car, but it was so dirty that he did it anyway.
Tayyaba Rehman
Jul 09, 2018

Anyhow

Nevertheless
It sounds crazy, but I believe it anyhow.
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Jul 09, 2018

Anyway

Used to indicate that a statement explains or supports a previous statement. See anyhow and at least.
I don't think that's true. I haven't found any evidence, anyway.
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Jul 09, 2018

Anyhow

(manner) In any way or manner whatever.
Tayyaba Rehman
Jul 09, 2018

Anyway

Used to indicate a change of subject.
Tayyaba Rehman
Jul 09, 2018

Anyhow

(conjunctive) In any case. Used to indicate that a statement explains or supports a previous statement.
Anyhow, he is dead now.
I think they’re asleep; anyhow, they’re quiet.
Tayyaba Rehman
Jul 09, 2018

Anyway

Used at the end of a question for emphasis, or to direct the conversation to something of more broad importance (compare with more to the point).
Tayyaba Rehman
Jul 09, 2018

Anyhow

In any way or manner whatever; at any rate; in any event.
Anyhow, it must be acknowledged to be not a simple selforiginated error.
Anyhow, the languages of the two nations were closely allied.
Tayyaba Rehman
Jul 09, 2018

Anyway

(obsolete) In any way.
Tayyaba Rehman
Jul 09, 2018

Anyhow

Used to indicate that a statement explains or supports a previous statement;
Anyhow, he is dead now
I think they're asleep; anyhow, they're quiet
I don't know what happened to it; anyway, it's gone
Anyway, there is another factor to consider
I don't know how it started; in any case, there was a brief scuffle
In any event, the government faced a serious protest
But at any rate he got a knighthood for it
Tayyaba Rehman
Jul 09, 2018

Anyway

Anywise; at all.
Tayyaba Rehman
Jul 09, 2018

Anyhow

In any way whatsoever;
They came anyhow they could
Get it done anyway you can
Tayyaba Rehman
Jul 09, 2018

Anyway

Used to indicate that a statement explains or supports a previous statement;
Anyhow, he is dead now
I think they're asleep; anyhow, they're quiet
I don't know what happened to it; anyway, it's gone
Anyway, there is another factor to consider
I don't know how it started; in any case, there was a brief scuffle
In any event, the government faced a serious protest
But at any rate he got a knighthood for it
Tayyaba Rehman
Jul 09, 2018

Anyway

In any way whatsoever;
They came anyhow they could
Get it done anyway you can
Tayyaba Rehman
Jul 09, 2018

Common Curiosities

Does anyhow have a negative connotation?

It can suggest a careless or haphazard approach.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 04, 2023

How is anyhow different?

Anyhow implies any method or means, often with a sense of carelessness.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 04, 2023

What does anyway mean?

Anyway is used to return to a subject or to conclude a discussion.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 04, 2023

In which context would you use anyway?

Use anyway when summarizing or making a concluding point.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 04, 2023

Is anyway formal?

Anyway is generally more formal than anyhow.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 04, 2023

Can anyway and anyhow be used interchangeably?

They are sometimes interchangeable but have different connotations.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 04, 2023

Is it grammatically correct to start a sentence with anyhow?

Yes, though it’s more casual and less formal.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 04, 2023

When is it appropriate to use anyhow?

Use anyhow when the manner or method is not critical.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 04, 2023

Can I start a sentence with anyway?

Yes, it’s common to start a sentence with anyway when changing the topic.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 04, 2023

Do anyway and anyhow have the same meaning?

They are similar but not identical in meaning.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 04, 2023

Can anyhow be used in formal writing?

It's less common and often replaced with more formal alternatives.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 04, 2023

Why choose anyway over anyhow in writing?

Anyway is often clearer and more precise, preferred in formal writing.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 04, 2023

What is the difference in tone between anyway and anyhow?

Anyway is neutral, while anyhow can be more dismissive or casual.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 04, 2023

How do these words function in speech?

They act as discourse markers to manage conversation flow.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 04, 2023

Are there any synonyms for anyway and anyhow?

Regardless, in any case, and no matter how are some alternatives.
Tayyaba Rehman
Nov 04, 2023

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to askdifference.com. As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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