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    #1

    But & However

    Hi there, can anyone tell me why "however" is not correct in the blank space in the following sentence?

    The Piraha tribe may be small, there are only about 200 members all told, ______ they exhibit a fascinating cultural peculiarity.

    It told me the correct answer is "but". I thought "but" and "however" were synonymous.

    Thank you in advance.

  1. teechar's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: But & However

    I don't know who the "it" refers to in your post above.
    The reason that "but" is the right answer is the comma after "told."

    If you want to use "however", then change that comma to a full stop or a semicolon.

    Note also that the first comma in the text is incorrect. It makes the text a comma splice.
    Here are your alternatives:
    The Piraha tribe may be small, as it only has about 200 ... etc.
    The Piraha tribe may be small. It has onlyabout 200 ... etc.

  2. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: But & However

    Quote Originally Posted by Anne59 View Post
    Hi there, can anyone tell me why "however" is not correct in the blank space in the following sentence?

    The Piraha tribe may be small, there are only about 200 members all told, ______ they exhibit a fascinating cultural peculiarity.

    It told me the correct answer is "but". I thought "but" and "however" were synonymous.

    Thank you in advance.
    Almost! They're used slightly differently. (VERY slightly.)

    These are fine:

    "... all told, but they....."
    "... all told. However, they.... "
    "... all told. But they...."

    but not "... all told, however they..."

    Notice that we use comma after However, not after but. But in that sentence is a conjunction, and however is a conjunctive adverb.

    Aren't you glad you asked?
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

  3. probus's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: But & However

    To me there is no difference between but and however in this context.

  4. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: But & However

    There is a significant difference in the required punctuation.

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    #6

    Re: But & However

    I am glad I asked because I'm learning. Can anyone direct me to a website where I can learn about puntuation? Everything I find is very basic.

    Could I put a semi colon after "all told" then follow it with "however" like in this sentence:-

    I wanted to see a scary movie; however, my friend wanted to see a comedy.


    Last edited by Anne59; 15-May-2015 at 13:45.

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    #7

    Re: But & However


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