Word Confusion: How Ever versus However

Posted August 8, 2013 by Kathy Davie in Author Resources, Editing, Self-Editing, Word Confusions, Writing

This word confusion is one of those, ahem, confusing ones. *Grin*

Okay, okay, I’m being serious, for a minute. It’s exactly what it says below. If your character is exclaiming about how amazing something is, how ever did you do this!, it’s a sure bet that the ever is intensifying the how and they are two separate words. Slamming the two separate words together, however, takes this in the opposite direction, creating a contradiction.

If we explore the phrase I used above:
How ever did you do this!

Oh wow, you are so incredible. I can’t believe you were able to do this.

However did you do this…

I can’t believe you screwed this up so badly, in whatever way you managed to destroy this, well, I just don’t know.

How ever did you manage to climb that mountain?

Wow, I’m so impressed with your stamina.

…however you managed to climb that mountain.

I don’t know if you used ropes or helicopters…

Word Confusions…

…started as my way of dealing with a professional frustration with properly spelled words that were out of context in manuscripts I was editing as well as books I was reviewing. It evolved into a sharing of information with y’all. I’m hoping you’ll share with us words that have been a bête noir for you from either end.

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How Ever However
Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com

Image courtesy of Some eCards

Do check out more of the humorous eCards at this site!

Image courtesy of Saying Images.com

Part of Grammar:
Intensifier adverb Adverb
Ever is used to intensify an adverb and is always separated from that adverb with a space or words Introduces a statement that contrasts with or seems to contradict something that has been said previously

In whatever way

Regardless of how

To whatever extent

No matter how

How in the world did you ever manage to separate those dogs? However you look at it…

He was hesitant to take the risk, however small.

C’mon, get it out of your system, bitch, whine, moan…which words are your pet peeves?

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Pinterest Photo Credits

“FMSC Staff Trip 2011 – Ethiopian Kids” by Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons