However vs Although
However and although are two of the many conjunctions that are used to connect sentences or two clauses of the same sentence. Both these conjunctions can be used to express a relationship between two sentences. In fact, both convey a contrast between the two sentences. Students of English remain confused between however and although because of their similarities. This article attempts to highlight their differences so as to enable readers to use either of the two conjunctions correctly.
However is an adverb but serves the purpose of joining two sentences very well. It is thus a conjunctive adverb that is used to introduce an idea that is contrasting to the idea presented in the earlier clause. To use this conjunctive adverb, the writer has to use a semicolon after the first clause of the sentence and then a comma after ‘however’.
The use of however is done in formal situations, and it creates a condition where there is a heavy and stiff dependence upon the second clause that follows however. However presents an element of surprise when it introduces the second idea that is in contrast to the idea expressed in the first clause of the sentence.
However is also a transition that can be used to express a contrast. It helps a writer to convey a second point that is in sharp contrast to the first point he made in the previous sentence. Normally, however is placed at the start of a sentence but it can also be placed in the middle or even at the end of a sentence to convey the same impression.
Although is a transition that is commonly used to introduce a contrasting idea. Its purpose is similar to that of however, but it is considered as less formal than however. Although is also a subordinate conjunction that can be used in front of a sentence but it changes the sentence into a dependent clause. This dependent or subordinate clause then does not remain a sentence on its own. A comma has to be used after using although in the first clause to connect the two clauses and to make a meaningful sentence. Take a look at the following sentences.
Sam loves Helen.
He will not marry her.
In normal circumstance, we expect a person to marry another person if he loves her. This is where although comes handy as it adds an element of surprise and allows one to connect these two sentences that are seemingly contrasting.
Although Sam loves Helen, he will not marry her.
What is the difference between However and Although?
• Although is a subordinate conjunction, whereas however is a conjunctive adverb.
• However is more formal than although.
• Both although and however connect two sentences that do not go well with each other.
• A more formal and stiff sentence gets created with the use of however and the sentence becomes heavily dependent upon the clause that follows however.
• Although relates with the phrase in spite of the fact, and one can use simply ‘though’ in its place in all situations.
• Order of ideas when using although is insignificant, whereas it becomes significant in the case of however.