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The following discussion has been moved from Wiktionary:Requests for cleanup.

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The usage notes say, “Never use however when you mean to say but.” We should only include such proscriptions if they are backed by references. If retained, the wording should show that third parties denounce the usage instead of give the impression that the English Wiktionary proscribes it. Rod (A. Smith) 21:47, 21 September 2007 (UTC)


The "Adverb" section has this: (degree) To whatever degree. / However clear you think you've been, many questions will remain. And below, the "Conjunction" section has this: To whatever extent. However far he may get, there'll be many that get further. For me that's absolutely the same thing, whether you call it "extent" or "degree." I'm not yet sure what to remove; but one of them MUST be removed, since either the former does not show the adverbial use, or the latter does not show the conjunctional use. -andy 10:13, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

I have the same reaction as andy. Any follow-up on this? To me, "however" in "Dress however you like" is clearly an adverb; I don't see any possibility for debate on this. I see that the print edition of the American Heritage Dictionary also calls it a conjunction in this case, but it seems to me that that might be ... um ... a mistake. 16:25, 4 August 2013 (UTC)

See WT:RFC#however. I think the Adverb and the Conjunction part-of-speech sections are both valid, but the senses are assigned to them in such a random way that you really can't make sense of which is which. Chuck Entz (talk) 21:53, 4 August 2013 (UTC)

Missing meaning?[edit]

I think "In whatever way" should be a further, distinct meaning. Like when you say: "however things may turn out...". Or check this example: "However you mean it, saying “Your children have touched me and I’m pretty sure I’ve touched them too” is never a wise thing to say when you’ve been pretending to be a supply teacher and are stood in front of some shocked parents."

I think the first sense in the 'Conjunction' section covers that. What do you think? Also, remember to sign your posts with ~~~~. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 01:03, 20 July 2012 (UTC)
I disagree. Also looked up another dictionary where it is different (see sense#1 there). Actually, it seems totally clear to me but I am not a native speaker while I guess for native speakers meanings that have evolved from each other may overlap. For me, the current conjunctive sense (sense#1) is synonymous with "but"; not necessarily implying that many ways were tried or could be tried in order to reach another conclusion, but to no avail. E.g. one can say "Mangos are delicious; however, they are expensive." without contemplating ways or manners (maybe you do consider degrees - of deliciousness -, which appears to me as an etimologycal link). By the way, I'd even tag sense#1 with word class conjunction (like here, again). Regarding the new meaning I suggest, I feel a clear emphasis on the how element. (Sorry for the missing signature, I am not a frequent editor.) --Providus (talk) 21:06, 20 July 2012 (UTC)