However

This is one of my pet peeves. Maybe not so annoying as acronyms that haven’t been spelled out, but it’s up there.

You cannot put however in the middle of a sentence. I’ll repeat. You cannot put however in the middle of a sentence. Well, in certain circumstances, you can. But don’t.

However, preceded by a comma is wrong. Like this example:

The evidence appears to be conclusive, however there is another factor to take into consideration.

However, preceded by a semi-colon is correct, but personally, I don’t like it. Like this:

The evidence appears to be conclusive; however there is another factor to take into consideration.

However, at the beginning of a sentence is elegant and clear. Like this:

The evidence appears to be conclusive. However there is another factor to take into consideration.

Why?

However is an adverb. It is not a conjunction. Only conjunctions can join two sentences together. Examples of conjunctions include and, or, but, while and yet.  Not however.

If you follow these two simple rules, you won’t go far wrong:

  • However should always have a capital letter.
  • Whatever follows it should disagree with whatever preceded it.

Top TipBy the way, the same applies to other linking adverbs such as nevertheless, also, consequently and hence.

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