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Thread: However, Nevertheless.../ Be that as it may...

  1. #1
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    However, Nevertheless.../ Be that as it may...

    1) I'd like to ask you if, besides being more or less formal, there is an important semantic difference between "however", "nevertheless", and "nonetheless".

    2) Is there any difference between "be that as it may" and "however that may be"?

    Cheers,

    Sextus

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    Re: However, Nevertheless.../ Be that as it may...

    1) No, I don't think so.
    2) Not much, but I think that "however that may be" suggests that what has been said is probably true (but irrelevant) whereas "be that as it may" just means it is irrelevant, we don't know if the speaker thinks it is true or not. "Be that as it may" is more common I think.
    ‘If a chap can’t compose an epic poem while he is weaving a tapestry, he had better shut up.' William Morris.

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    Re: However, Nevertheless.../ Be that as it may...

    I always have the same doubt too. “However” , “nevertheless” and “nonetheless”, are totally interchangeable each other?

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    Re: However, Nevertheless.../ Be that as it may...

    Something in the recesses of my mind is compelling me to say that "nevertheless" and "nonetheless" are used as a way of saying "in spite of that"... which is a bit different than "be that as it may".

    I agree that "be that as it may" has a tone of saying that the thing is deemed irrelevant/extraneous.

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    Re: However, Nevertheless.../ Be that as it may...

    Nevertheless is more like keeping some continuity in what you are saying, such as 'I don't want these, but nevertheless I have got them', it kind of means, in spite of all this. But 'however' can completely change your point. 'He likes girls with green eyes. However, his girlfriend has brown eyes.' Yet to some extent, the words are interchangeable. I probably haven't explained myself that well. It sounded good in my head!!

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    Re: However, Nevertheless.../ Be that as it may...

    Quote Originally Posted by boonognog
    Something in the recesses of my mind is compelling me to say that "nevertheless" and "nonetheless" are used as a way of saying "in spite of that"... which is a bit different than "be that as it may".

    I agree that "be that as it may" has a tone of saying that the thing is deemed irrelevant/extraneous.
    This is a very interesting discussion; I have nearly broken my head trying to figure out the differences between however and nevertheless. They are not entirely interchangeable, but I was not sure why and dictionaries have not helped.

    I agree with your comment above; however, it is a little more complicated than that. I think however can also have the meaning of "in spite of that," such as in the sentence "The days have been bleak and dreary; however/nevertheless, tomorrow is another day and spring is around the corner." But however also has an "on the other hand" meaning that nevertheless doesn't: "I think I will wear my red sweater; however, the blue one is warmer." I am interested to hear what others have to say.
    (Please correct all my errors.)

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    Re: However, Nevertheless.../ Be that as it may...

    However can be used at the beginning of a sentence meaning 'no matter how' or 'in whatever way,' but it never takes a comma: However I try to change this tire, I always fail.

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    Re: However, Nevertheless.../ Be that as it may...

    There is not much difference between "however" and "nevertheless" and they can often be used interchangeably. Here is one difference:

    "However" begins a statement with negative connotations that qualifies a preceding positive statement. E.g. I am rich; however, I don't like to spend money

    "Nevertheless" is the opposite, i.e. begins a statement with positive connotations following a negative statement. E.g. I don't know much Spanish, nevertheless I find ways to communicate with Spanish people.

    "Be that as it may" is rather less common, and I've never seen or heard "however that may be".
    You might also consider the similar expresions "notwithstanding" and "on the other hand".

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    Re: However, Nevertheless.../ Be that as it may...

    no , no difference at all.

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    Re: However, Nevertheless.../ Be that as it may...

    Quote Originally Posted by sir archie View Post
    no , no difference at all.
    Did you read any of the thread above which shows that this is demonstrably untrue?
    ‘If a chap can’t compose an epic poem while he is weaving a tapestry, he had better shut up.' William Morris.

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    Re: However, Nevertheless.../ Be that as it may...

    yes I read the thread, that is why I commented.
    Do you believe everything that you read to be demonstratively true?
    I believe my eyes, my ears and my experience of life.

    No, there is no difference at all.

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    Re: However, Nevertheless.../ Be that as it may...

    Quote Originally Posted by liliput View Post
    There is not much difference between "however" and "nevertheless" and they can often be used interchangeably. Here is one difference:

    "However" begins a statement with negative connotations that qualifies a preceding positive statement. E.g. I am rich; however, I don't like to spend money

    "Nevertheless" is the opposite, i.e. begins a statement with positive connotations following a negative statement. E.g. I don't know much Spanish, nevertheless I find ways to communicate with Spanish people.

    "Be that as it may" is rather less common, and I've never seen or heard "however that may be".
    You might also consider the similar expresions "notwithstanding" and "on the other hand".
    I disagree with your points regarding however and nevertheless being a positive/negative thing; indeed there are subtle differences between them but I don't think they can be as easily defined as you have tried. I would certainly say "I don't speak much Spanish, however, I find ways to communicate with Spanish people."
    I might also say "I am extremely rich. Nevertheless, I hate to spend money."
    It is very hard to define what the differences are between these words (except 'however that may be' which I have never heard either).

    I also disagree with the point made earlier that however never takes a comma. For example:
    The previous night they had decided they would go to the beach. However, when they woke up it was pouring with rain and they decided not to go.
    Last edited by moo mouse; 22nd March 2007 at 7:02 PM. Reason: commas needed!

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    Re: However, Nevertheless.../ Be that as it may...

    Quote Originally Posted by sir archie View Post
    yes I read the thread, that is why I commented.
    Do you believe everything that you read to be demonstratively true?
    I believe my eyes, my ears and my experience of life.

    No, there is no difference at all.
    No, I make my own evaluations. The posts above gave their opinion that there were differences, and backed those opinions up with examples that I find ring true. You made one unsupported assertion - opinion without reason I certainly discount.
    ‘If a chap can’t compose an epic poem while he is weaving a tapestry, he had better shut up.' William Morris.

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    Re: However, Nevertheless.../ Be that as it may...

    Quote Originally Posted by timpeac View Post
    No, I make my own evaluations. The posts above gave their opinion that there were differences, and backed those opinions up with examples that I find ring true. You made one unsupported assertion - opinion without reason I certainly discount.
    refer to previous posting.

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    Re: However, Nevertheless.../ Be that as it may...

    As noticed by moo mouse (among others), and as I mentioned in my post, "nevertheless" and "however" are often interchangeable. My definition clearly isn't a concrete one. Nevertheless, sir archie is incorrect in saying that there is no difference at all. Whilst the differences are certainly difficult to define, there are instances where it is better to use one rather than the other, compare the following:
    1)I earn a lot of money, nevertheless it's still not enough to support my children.
    2)I earn a lot of money, however it's still not enough to support my children.
    I think most people will agree that the second sentence sounds better than the first, even if they're not sure why. Personally, I think that in this case having "nevertheless" followed by "not" seems a little like a double negative and for this reason sounds strange.
    sir archie, I'm with timpeac - back your assertions up with some solid argument and examples instead of simply dismissing other people's opinions.

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    Re: However, Nevertheless.../ Be that as it may...

    Quote Originally Posted by liliput View Post
    As noticed by moo mouse (among others), and as I mentioned in my post, "nevertheless" and "however" are often interchangeable. My definition clearly isn't a concrete one. Nevertheless, sir archie is incorrect in saying that there is no difference at all. Whilst the differences are certainly difficult to define, there are instances where it is better to use one rather than the other, compare the following:
    1)I earn a lot of money, nevertheless it's still not enough to support my children.
    2)I earn a lot of money, however it's still not enough to support my children.
    I think most people will agree that the second sentence sounds better than the first, even if they're not sure why. Personally, I think that in this case having "nevertheless" followed by "not" seems a little like a double negative and for this reason sounds strange.
    sir archie, I'm with timpeac - back your assertions up with some solid argument and examples instead of simply dismissing other people's opinions.
    I am very sorry, I can not and do not feel the need to do so.
    All that I can say to you is that in my experience , and in the world in which I live , speaking the language which I speak , in Great Britain , (which I know counts for nothing at all, eccept context,) there is absolutely no differenc at all between the phrases quoted. They ARE interchangable in my experience of the english language , no matter how limitted that may be. It might be advantageous to remember that english is spoken far more widely that it may be recorded by academics, or their research.
    I hope that this may help with your understanding. Thank you .

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    Re: However, Nevertheless.../ Be that as it may...

    Quote Originally Posted by sir archie View Post
    refer to previous posting.
    What a strange thing to say. In reply I can only say refer to my previous reply to your previous posting.
    ‘If a chap can’t compose an epic poem while he is weaving a tapestry, he had better shut up.' William Morris.

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    Re: However, Nevertheless.../ Be that as it may...

    Quote Originally Posted by timpeac View Post
    What a strange thing to say. In reply I can only say refer to my previous reply to your previous posting.
    Exactly. I am in complete accord. I would refer you to my previous postings.
    I am very sorry that you find what I have to say "strange" in any way , shape or form. That can only be as a result of your understanding , as far as I am concerned , as I have said all that I can say. Adios.

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    Re: However, Nevertheless.../ Be that as it may...

    Quote Originally Posted by sir archie View Post
    That can only be as a result of your understanding , as far as I am concerned , as I have said all that I can say. Adios.
    What a relief.
    ‘If a chap can’t compose an epic poem while he is weaving a tapestry, he had better shut up.' William Morris.

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    Re: However, Nevertheless.../ Be that as it may...

    Quote Originally Posted by timpeac View Post
    What a relief.
    Don`t be rude. It is forbidden.

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