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Nevertheless vs. However — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Published on August 29, 2023
Nevertheless and however, both indicate contrast, but "nevertheless" implies "in spite of that," whereas "however" means "but" or "on the other hand."
Nevertheless vs. However — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Nevertheless and However

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Key Differences

"Nevertheless" and "however" both serve to introduce a contrasting idea or an exception in a sentence. Nevertheless often emphasizes a conclusion or result that's unexpected given the previous information. However is a more general transition, indicating a simple contrast.
Tayyaba Rehman
Aug 29, 2023
The placement of "nevertheless" and "however" can vary in a sentence. "Nevertheless" usually appears at the beginning or end. "However" can be at the start, middle, or end, often preceded by a semicolon when separating two independent clauses.
Tayyaba Rehman
Aug 29, 2023
In terms of formality, both "nevertheless" and "however" are considered formal. Nevertheless sometimes carries a stronger sense of surprise or contradiction, while however tends to be more neutral.
Tayyaba Rehman
Aug 29, 2023
Both words can be used in various contexts, but their implications might differ slightly. Using "nevertheless" often indicates that the subsequent statement is somewhat surprising given what preceded it. "However" simply points out a difference or contradiction.
Tayyaba Rehman
Aug 29, 2023
Despite their differences, "nevertheless" and "however" can often be used interchangeably. Nevertheless, understanding their subtle distinctions can make one's writing more nuanced. However, it's essential to remember context when choosing between them.
Tayyaba Rehman
Aug 29, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Meaning

Despite what preceded
But or on the other hand
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Aug 29, 2023

Emphasis

Stronger emphasis on contradiction or surprise
Neutral contrast
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Aug 29, 2023

Placement

Usually at the beginning or end of a clause
Can be start, middle, or end
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Aug 29, 2023

Formality

Considered formal
Considered formal
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Aug 29, 2023

Implication

Indicates an unexpected result or conclusion
Simply points out a difference
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Aug 29, 2023

Compare with Definitions

Nevertheless

Nevertheless - regardless of what has just been mentioned.
There were challenges. Nevertheless, they succeeded.
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Aug 23, 2023

However

However - but or yet.
She wanted to go; however, she couldn't afford it.
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Aug 23, 2023

Nevertheless

(conjunctive) In spite of what preceded; yet.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 23, 2021

However

However - in whatever way.
However you look at it, it's still a problem.
Tayyaba Rehman
Aug 23, 2023

Nevertheless

Not the less; notwithstanding; in spite of that; yet.
No chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous; nevertheless, afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness.
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Oct 23, 2021

However

However - introducing a statement that contrasts with a previous one.
It was raining; however, we played outside.
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Aug 23, 2023

Nevertheless

Nevertheless - even so.
It was a hard task. Nevertheless, they persisted.
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Aug 23, 2023

However

However - to whatever degree.
However much I try, I can't master it.
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Aug 23, 2023

Nevertheless

Nevertheless - showing surprising continuation.
He was late; nevertheless, he seemed unhurried.
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Aug 23, 2023

However

Despite anything to the contrary (usually following a concession);
Although I'm a little afraid, however I'd like to try it
While we disliked each other, nevertheless we agreed
He was a stern yet fair master
Granted that it is dangerous, all the same I still want to go
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 23, 2021

Nevertheless

In spite of that; nonetheless; however
A small, nevertheless fatal error.
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Oct 23, 2021

However

Nevertheless; notwithstanding; yet; still; though; as, I shall not oppose your design; I can not, however, approve of it.
In your excuse your love does little say;You might howe'er have took a better way.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 23, 2021

Nevertheless

Despite anything to the contrary (usually following a concession);
Although I'm a little afraid, however I'd like to try it
While we disliked each other, nevertheless we agreed
He was a stern yet fair master
Granted that it is dangerous, all the same I still want to go
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 23, 2021

However

To whatever degree or extent;
The results, however general, are important
They have begun, however reluctantly, to acknowledge the legitimacy of some of the opposition's concerns
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Oct 23, 2021

Nevertheless

Nevertheless - indicating unexpectedness.
The sun was shining; nevertheless, the ground was wet.
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Aug 23, 2023

However

In whatever way or manner;
Victory, however it was brought about, was sweet
However he did it, it was very clever
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 23, 2021

Nevertheless

Nevertheless - in spite of that.
She was tired; nevertheless, she finished the marathon.
Tayyaba Rehman
Aug 23, 2023

However

In what way or manner or by what means (`however' is sometimes used as an intensive form of `how');
How did you catch the snake?
He told us how he did it
However did you get here so soon?
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 23, 2021

However

In spite of that; nevertheless; yet
The book is expensive.
However, it's worth it.
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Oct 23, 2021

However

On the other hand; by contrast
The first part was easy.
The second, however, took hours.
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Oct 23, 2021

However

To whatever degree or extent
"The prospect of success, however remote, was tantalizing" (Stephen Baker).
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Oct 23, 2021

However

In what way. Used as an intensive of how
However did you get here so soon?.
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Oct 23, 2021

However

In whatever manner or way that
Dress however you like.
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Oct 23, 2021

However

(Archaic) Notwithstanding that; although
"Howe'er thou art a fiend, / a woman's shape doth shield thee" (Shakespeare).
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 23, 2021

However

(conjunctive) Nevertheless; yet, still; in spite of that.
He told me not to do it. However, I did it anyway. / I did it anyway, however. / I, however, did it anyway.
She wanted to go; however, she decided against it.
I didn't argue with him; I still think, however, that he is wrong.
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Oct 23, 2021

However

(conjunctive) In contrast.
The conference itself went very well. The party afterwards, however, was a disaster.
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Oct 23, 2021

However

(degree) To whatever degree or extent.
However clear you think you've been, many questions will remain.
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Oct 23, 2021

However

In any way that one likes or chooses; in a haphazard or spontaneous way.
I don't care; just do it however.
Nothing was really planned; things just happened however.
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Oct 23, 2021

However

(interrogative) How ever: an emphatic form of how, used to ask in what manner.
I thought it was impossible. However were you able to do it?
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Oct 23, 2021

However

(obsolete) In any case, at any rate, at all events.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 23, 2021

However

Regardless of the way in which.
Let me know when you've had your interview, however it goes.
However we do this, it isn't going to work.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 23, 2021

However

In any way in which.
She offered to help however she could.
Wear your hair however you want.
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Oct 23, 2021

However

(proscribed) But, yet, though, although.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 23, 2021

However

In whetever manner, way, or degree.
However yet they me despise and spite.
Howe'er the business goes, you have made fault.
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Oct 23, 2021

However

At all events; at least; in any case.
Our chief end is to be freed from all, if it may be, however from the greatest evils.
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Oct 23, 2021

However

By contrast; on the other hand;
The first part was easy; the second, however, took hours
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Oct 23, 2021

However

However - regardless of how.
However it happened, it was a mistake.
Tayyaba Rehman
Aug 23, 2023

Common Curiosities

What are the main purposes of "nevertheless" and "however"?

Both are used to indicate contrast, with "nevertheless" implying "in spite of that" and "however" meaning "but" or "on the other hand."
Tayyaba Rehman
Aug 29, 2023

Can "nevertheless" and "however" be used interchangeably?

Often, yes, but "nevertheless" sometimes carries a stronger sense of surprise or contradiction.
Tayyaba Rehman
Aug 29, 2023

Where can "nevertheless" be placed in a sentence?

It usually appears at the beginning or end of a clause.
Tayyaba Rehman
Aug 29, 2023

Which word has a more neutral connotation?

"However" tends to be more neutral, while "nevertheless" can emphasize unexpectedness.
Tayyaba Rehman
Aug 29, 2023

How about the placement of "however"?

"However" can be at the start, middle, or end, often preceded by a semicolon when separating two independent clauses.
Tayyaba Rehman
Aug 29, 2023

Are "nevertheless" and "however" considered formal?

Yes, both are considered formal in language.
Tayyaba Rehman
Aug 29, 2023

Do "nevertheless" and "however" always introduce a contrasting statement?

Primarily, yes, but "however" can also mean "in whatever way" or "to whatever degree."
Tayyaba Rehman
Aug 29, 2023

Is "nevertheless" ever used in casual conversation?

While it's more formal, it can still be found in everyday speech for emphasis.
Tayyaba Rehman
Aug 29, 2023

Can "however" be used to mean "no matter how"?

Yes, e.g., "However hard I try, I can't do it."
Tayyaba Rehman
Aug 29, 2023

Can "however" introduce a question?

Yes, for instance "However, isn't it too late now?"
Tayyaba Rehman
Aug 29, 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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