nonetheless, none the less, and nevertheless

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dathrilla

Senior Member
American English, New York
Hi,

As a native English speaker I had never, till this moment, seen "nonetheless" written as "none the less". Nonetheless :p, I saw this in a British article, so maybe it could be used in BE? thanks for any input...
 
  • dathrilla

    Senior Member
    American English, New York
    so here goes: w w w . g u a r d i a n . c o . u k / c o m m e n t / s t o r y / 0,3604,1688777,00. h t m l
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    We've been using this as one word since 1533, but there are still some diehards who insist on writing it as three words. You don't have to follow them:D
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I'm tempted to point out that the Gruaniad is famous for its abuse of English, but that would be cruel.
    Especially where it is placed in that article, none the less hits my brain with a huge clunk.
     

    whatonearth

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    I, too, have seen "nonetheless" used in written English on a number of occasions, but I'd say that another 'contraction' (for want of a better term) that I see alot more often is "nevertheless".

    While "nonetheless" still looks a little...erm...clunky(?) to my eye, I definately find it preferable to the alternative (i.e. 'none the less')! :D
     

    Thomas1

    Senior Member
    polszczyzna warszawska
    Is there any difference between the above (meaning, registers, frequency of use, etc.), please?
    Are there any situations in which you would use the first and not the other and all the way around?



    Thanks in advance,
    Thomas
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    Hi Thomas,
    I haven't looked them up in the dictionary, so this is just opinion. They are interchangeable. I use them both sparingly, but with equal frequency.

    Per Uncle Gooogle, nevertheless ~130 million; nonetheless~ 79 million.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    cuchuflete said:
    For ".uk" sites, nevertheless wins by about 7 million to 2 million.
    That sounds about right - I prefer nevertheless because it sounds better (to me). Generally, they don't add much meaning to the sentence.
     

    Thomas1

    Senior Member
    polszczyzna warszawska
    And, what about meaning do you discern any (even the slightest) difference?


    One more question, which may seem silly to you :p , but why nevertheless sounds better?
     

    mkinmi

    New Member
    US English
    I found this forum and topic by googling "nonetheless vs. nevertheless" and felt compelled to register. I notice that "nonetheless" tends to grate on me a bit when I hear it spoken and I wanted to find out if there were a actual difference between these two words.

    It appears they are interchangeable. But I want to comment on why I think "nonetheless" sounds displeasing. You see, this word is typically used as an adverb:

    ...compact but nevertheless spacious...
    ...simple but nevertheless effective...
    ...profound but nevertheless fundamental...
    etc.

    And it does sound strange for a noun -- "none" -- to appear at the beginning of an adverb where another adverb -- "never" -- could be used instead. I do Understand these words are also used (possibly more commonly even) as a conjunction appearing at the beginning of a sentence. But even then, the combination of noun-article-adjective (none-the-less) just sounds wrong when compared to adverb-article-adjective (never-the-less). Perhaps the ficticious "nottheless" would make a better conjunction than both of them? ;)
     

    Thomas1

    Senior Member
    polszczyzna warszawska
    Hello mkinmi and welcome to the forums, :)

    Thank you for the response, I thought none would contribute--good to read some rationale on the issue. None is also an adverb but, I think, its usage frequency as a noun (a preposition, to be precise) is by far higher than as an adverb. There's no problem with never which is only the former.

    Tom
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    I've been thinking about this one for a while. I do feel a slightly different sense from the two words in certain sentences, but I don't know if that's simply a figment of my own mind or an actual nuance.

    For example:

    "He was nevertheless displeased to hear that his daughter had run off with the plumber."

    "He was nonetheless displeased to hear that his daughter had run off with the plumber."

    To me, "nevertheless" would make more sense in a context where an opposite had been presented earlier.

    "Despite all past events, he and his daughter had begun to grow closer. He was nevertheless displeased to hear that his daughter had run off with the plumber."

    "Nonetheless" seems to fit better when it continues a tone from a previous sentence:

    "Despite all her efforts, she could make no headway in reconciling with her father. He was nonetheless displeased to hear that she had run off with the plumber."

    As I said, I don't know if it's simply a personal quirk that stems from some very old conclusion I made about the two words, based on the context in which I read them, but they do sound different to me.
     

    Wordperfection

    New Member
    English - England
    There is an important difference in meaning between the two forms. They are simply not alternative ways of writing the same thing.

    E.g. Though his book "What a disaster" was rightly slated by the critics, XXX was nonetheless a great novelist.

    YYY's career as a novelist was none the less impressive for having been so short.
     

    cikoge

    New Member
    turkish
    In case it may help, there is an example:
    'It was an important part of Marshall's thought in his ".....", NONE THE LESS because he believed that it was through speculation or speculative investment that the new money found its way out into the world.'
    (from "A Treatise on Money", p.168, of John Maynard Keynes.)
     

    ppaauull

    New Member
    English - American
    Event1 nevertheless Event2.
    Event2 occurs depsite Event1.
    "Even though he didn't want [1] to go, he nevertheless got on [2] the train."

    Event1 nonetheless Event2.
    Event1 did not diminish the quantity of Event2 ("no less").
    "Even though his work was highly criticized [1], he was nonetheless pleased [2] with the result."
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    Event1 nevertheless Event2.
    Event2 occurs depsite Event1.
    "Even though he didn't want [1] to go, he nevertheless got on [2] the train."

    Event1 nonetheless Event2.
    Event1 did not diminish the quantity of Event2 ("no less").
    "Even though his work was highly criticized [1], he was nonetheless pleased [2] with the result."
    This is my understanding as well (four years later). :thumbsup: Beautifully stated.
     

    robbie50

    New Member
    New Zealand English
    It is logical to write "none the less", as it is three seperate words, just as you would write "a lot" or "thank you", easy as that. Personally I would never include such an untidy conglomeration of words in my writing. "None the less" is three seperate words, no matter how common the combination is.
     

    sound shift

    Senior Member
    English - England
    There is an important difference in meaning between the two forms. They are simply not alternative ways of writing the same thing.

    E.g. Though his book "What a disaster" was rightly slated by the critics, XXX was nonetheless a great novelist.

    YYY's career as a novelist was none the less impressive for having been so short.
    The Collins Dictionary of the English Language agrees with you, Wordperfection, inasmuch (or should that be "in as much"? ;)) as it calls "nonetheless" a "sentence connector" and gives the meaning as "despite that", "however" and "nevertheless".
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    It is logical to write "none the less", as it is three seperate words, just as you would write "a lot" or "thank you", easy as that. Personally I would never include such an untidy conglomeration of words in my writing. "None the less" is three seperate words, no matter how common the combination is.
    Sorry, there is no such thing as logic in language. In British English, as recorded by the Concise Oxford English Dictionary, nonetheless is the normative form and none the less is the less common alternative.

    Wordperfection's point above is valid - there are times when none the less cannot be replaced by nonetheless, but he or she is also incorrect in that there are many occasions where nonetheless may correctly (but not preferably) be replaced by none the less.
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    It is logical to write "none the less", as it is three seperate words, just as you would write "a lot" or "thank you", easy as that. Personally I would never include such an untidy conglomeration of words in my writing. "None the less" is three seperate words, no matter how common the combination is.
    Welcome to the forum, Robbie:)

    So I presume you also write: heart break, green house, black bird [blackbird], sun shine, arm pit, foot hill ................. :confused:
     

    neuronimo

    New Member
    English - United States
    I did the same thing as mkinme, and I agree with ppaauull. I wanted some confirmation because, while I felt the two words were mostly synonymous, I'm doing some scientific writing and suspected it might be imprecise to use the two interchangeably.

    I was thinking that "nonetheless" should be to "nevertheless", at least a little bit like "none" is to "never".

    So, thank you ppaauull. You have confirmed what I thought might be true. I think the distinction is minor enough to usually warrant using whichever word sounds better. But, if being extremely strict, "nonetheless" should relate to quantity and "nevertheless" to time. Whichever is closer. Somehow.


    (I'm also having fun trying to figure out exactly why I and apparently almost everyone use the two words identically. It's pretty interesting thinking about the temporal nature of both words and the temporal nature of speech versus writing. It somehow makes sense that the two would become blended but also remain distinct in some contexts... But perhaps I'll leave the lava lamp discussions for elsewhere.)
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I was thinking that "nonetheless" should be to "nevertheless", at least a little bit like "none" is to "never".

    [...]I think the distinction is minor enough to usually warrant using whichever word sounds better. But, if being extremely strict, "nonetheless" should relate to quantity and "nevertheless" to time. Whichever is closer. Somehow.
    I'm a bit puzzled by this comment: I can detect no hint of "quantity" in nonetheless or "time" in nevertheless.
    I cannot discern any distinction between the two.

    I prefer "nevertheless" for the rhythm, and because it is slightly easier to get your tongue around.
    Pertinax's comments pretty much describe my usage, too:).
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I'm a bit puzzled by this comment: I can detect no hint of "quantity" in nonetheless or "time" in nevertheless.
    [...]
    I think there are circumstances where none the less has the sense of 'in no way less', certainly as I use it, and that amounts to more than a hint of quantity.

    Here's an interesting example <<...>> on the word:

    'It was an important part of Marshall's thought [...], none the less because he believed that it was through speculation or speculative investment that the new money found its way out into the world.'
    (from "A Treatise on Money", p.168, of John Maynard Keynes.)

    For me it's interesting because the other thread contains repeated assertions that there is no difference between none the less and nonetheless. Yet here you clearly could not change none the less to nonetheless, nevertheless, or however, without altering the spring of the sense and causing people to expect another complete sentence.
     
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    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I think there are circumstances where none the less has the sense of 'in no way less', certainly as I use it, and that amounts to more than a hint of quantity.
    I agree, TT. But then, for me, "none the less" and "nonetheless" are completely different:).
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    ...
    'It was an important part of Marshall's thought [...], none the less because he believed that it was through speculation or speculative investment that the new money found its way out into the world.'
    ...
    This is a very useful example.
    Here, we do not have "nonetheless", adverb, the word meaning nevertheless.

    The example serves to emphasise the importance of writing nonetheless as one word when appropriate.

    << Two threads have been merged. >>
     
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