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    #1

    Thumbs down My friend is still

    1.My friend is still optimistic _________ many difficulties he has to overcome.
    A. though B. however C. despite D. but
    B. however is correct? Who can give me a clear explanation for this. Many thanks

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    #2

    Re: My friend is still

    however many = it doesn't matter/it's not important how many

  1. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: My friend is still

    C also works in my view.

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: My friend is still

    I think 'despite' would work with 'the'. '...despite the many difficulties...' As it stands only 'however' is possible in my opinion.

  3. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: My friend is still

    An interesting point, but I think it's still okay to use "despite" whether or not there is an anaphoric reference to "the many difficulties" or a first-time reference, "many difficulties," because the question of whether or not difficulties could dim his optimism, or be introduced by "despite," shouldn't depend on whether they have been previously mentioned, or are otherwise known.

    As for the B answer, however, I'm not sure I like it without a comma separating the two clauses, which it seems is not present:

    "My friend is still optimistic, however many difficulties he has to overcome."
    Or,
    "My friend is still optimistic -- however many difficulties he has to overcome."
    But
    "My friend is still optimistic however many difficulties he has to overcome."
    Seems a bit half-baked, to me. But de gustibus non est disputandum.

  4. Raymott's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: My friend is still

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    C also works in my view.
    I agree. B and C are equally good.

  5. engee30's Avatar
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    #7

    Cool Re: My friend is still

    Despite seems to be the best choice. In academic writing, however meaning nevertheless without any commas preceding or following it looks rather poor, so to speak.


  6. Raymott's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: My friend is still

    Quote Originally Posted by engee30 View Post
    Despite seems to be the best choice. In academic writing, however meaning nevertheless without any commas preceding or following it looks rather poor, so to speak.

    Perhaps, but "however" here does not mean "nevertheless", so commas don't enter into it.

  7. engee30's Avatar
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    #9

    Question Re: My friend is still

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Perhaps, but "however" here does not mean "nevertheless", so commas don't enter into it.
    Really? So what's the meaning of however in that sentence then?


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    #10

    Re: My friend is still

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Perhaps, but "however" here does not mean "nevertheless", so commas don't enter into it.
    I immediately chose despite as it sounded more natural. When I read the sentence with however, it sounds like Yoda.

    Now, I'm wondering about a sentence that reads:

    "My friend is (still) optimistic how ever many difficulties he has to overcome."

    Emphasis on meaning 'number of'. Would one need to remove still in that case?

    1. How can we know the original intent of the writer? and

    2. Wouldn't the lack of a comma lead us to choose despite rather than however?

    3. Also, can however in the instance of 'number of' be written as 2 words like I have above–can it be written both ways to express the same meaning? ('number of')

    Thanks for any enlightenment!

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