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-Writing tip of the week-

Even though grammar is standard in English all over the world, we may still come across being taught incorrect rules because of local differences in usage or popular myths. For example: many native English speakers believe that using the word “however” at the start of a sentence is wrong. However, it is perfectly correct when used judiciously, and very common in even the most formal English writing! The main reason for this misconception is simply that many people – even well educated, native English speakers – were simply taught incorrect rules or myths of usage when they were young, and never bothered to question or challenge them.

It is not wrong to use the word “however” at the start of a sentence, but it should not be used frequently or inappropriately. There are two ways in which the word “however” is used at the beginning of a sentence, and each has its own meaning:

In the first case, “however” is followed by a comma. In this case, “however” is used as a conjunctive adverb – similar to “nevertheless” - that establishes a relationship between two ideas or topics.

Examples: 
1) It was raining, and I was not able to go work outside. However, I was happy to stay inside and relax.

2) Sam's argument is valid. However, I still prefer Megan's idea.

Using “however”at the start of a sentence without a comma changes the meaning. On its own, “however” at the start of a sentence means “in whatever manner,” or “to whatever extent”. So, you must pay attention to the content of your sentence or paragraph then use the word accordingly.

Examples: 
1) However long it rains, I will still be happy to stay inside and relax.

2) However much Sam argues, I will still prefer Megan's idea.

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