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    #1

    However hard I tried, I just couldn't manage it.

    Hi all,

    in the test "Although, Despite & However" the sentence "However hard I tried, I just couldn't manage it." being OK puzzles me.

    Shouldn't it be "I tried hard, however...", "Although I tried hard..." or "Despite me having tried hard, ..."?

    May be "However" is used similar to "Whoever" and "Whatever" here instead of the "despite/although/however"-sense? Like in "Whatever I offered they wouldn't sell the car".

    Thanks! (And I like the site!)

    Joep

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    #2

    Re: However hard I tried, I just couldn't manage it.

    However hard = no matter how how hard

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    #3

    Re: However hard I tried, I just couldn't manage it.

    Thanks!

    So it really is a trick question?

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: However hard I tried, I just couldn't manage it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Joepnl View Post
    Thanks!

    So it really is a trick question?
    What do you think the trick is? (Oh, and what was the question, too?)

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    #5

    Re: However hard I tried, I just couldn't manage it.

    Hi,

    In a list of sentences dealing with the differences between although, despite and however, I was expecting "however" to be used in the "by contrast" sense, not as in "no matter how hard".

    That's why I thought "However hard I tried, I just couldn't manage it." was a wrong way of saying "Although I tried hard, I just couldn't manage it", not a good way of saying "No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't manage it".

    Just found "however he did it [I don't know]" which is in four words what would take at least seven in my native language Dutch "Hoe hij het dan ook gedaan heeft".

    Txs,
    Joep

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    #6

    Re: However hard I tried, I just couldn't manage it.

    The trick is to check for a comma. If there is a comma after "however" then it means "in contrast" etc. If there is no comma, then it's being used as "no matter how" in the same sense as "However hard I try..."

    However long the journey is, I'll drive to get you.
    However short my hair is, I still look like a girl.
    However pretty the view, it's ruined by the presence of telegraph poles.

    However, I will take the job at the lower salary.
    However, he then ordered the small pizza.
    However, cats are cuter than dogs.
    However, swimming is better for me than going to the gym.

    The other thing you'll notice is that in the first set of examples, not only is there no comma, but the word after "however" is an adjective.
    In the others, it's a pronoun, a noun or a verb.
    It is, of course, possible to have an adjective after the second type of "however" but it would still be followed by the noun it modifies.

    However, small cats are cuter than large dogs.

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    #7

    Re: However hard I tried, I just couldn't manage it.

    Thinking about "pronoun, a noun or a verb" I found the exact same and finally understood your last sentence :)

    Wondering how much the how in however needs an adjective to explain the how.

    Would this be allowed?

    However boys like to fight, they sometimes stop to look at cute cats.

    Which should mean:

    However aggressive boys are, they sometimes stop to look at cute cats.

    (and not:

    In spite of what I just said, boys do like to fight, which sometimes involves looking at cute cats)
    Last edited by Joepnl; 17-Aug-2011 at 23:56. Reason: hopefully making myself clear

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: However hard I tried, I just couldn't manage it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Joepnl View Post
    Thinking about "pronoun, a noun or a verb" I found the exact same and finally understood your last sentence :)

    Wondering how much the how in however needs an adjective to explain the how.

    Would this be allowed?

    However boys like to fight, they sometimes stop to look at cute cats.

    Which should mean:

    However aggressive boys are, they sometimes stop to look at cute cats.

    (and not:

    In spite of what I just said, boys do like to fight, which sometimes involves looking at cute cats)
    Yes, but I would reword it "However much boys like to fight..." although your "However aggressive boys are..." is fine, it just has a slightly different meaning.

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    #9

    Re: However hard I tried, I just couldn't manage it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Joepnl View Post
    Thanks!

    So it really is a trick question?
    Isn't that what tests are for?

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    #10

    Re: However hard I tried, I just couldn't manage it.

    :)

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