'However' or 'How Ever': Which is Correct?

By Carly Forsaith, updated on October 3, 2022

Is the choice between using 'however' or 'how ever' tripping you up? Not to worry, this article will help clarify the correct grammar for you.

There are different answers depending on what sources you check. Our ethos here is always to rely upon trustworthy sources.

And what our sources tell us is that 'however' is correct and 'how ever' is not.

'However' vs. 'How Ever'

There is some confusion when it comes to these two words, and this is partly because the word 'however' has many different meanings. Let's investigate the proper use of the word and whether you can ever use 'how ever.'

Meaning of 'However'

As mentioned, the word 'however' has several meanings. Read on for the various definitions of 'however' and sentence examples.

In any way:

  • She said she would help us however she could.

To describe a degree or amount:

  • I haven't eaten in however many days.
  • However much I try to help out, they don't value me.

As a synonym for 'but':

  • She wants to quit smoking; however, the addiction has a hold on her.

As a synonym for 'though':

  • I know you like her; however, I think you should stay away.

As an intensifier or interrogative:

  • However did you get here so fast?
  • However is it that you know so much about fixing cars?

Note that using 'however' this way is best saved for colloquial contexts.

Can you Ever Use 'How Ever'?

That last definition is where the confusion comes in. It is commonly believed that in this instance, it would be acceptable to use 'how ever' like this:

How ever did you get here so fast?

However, this isn't supported by official sources (see what we did there?).

Who Can You Trust?

Since the internet age, knowledge has become more accessible, and anyone can learn almost anything. It's a beautiful thing!

But on the flip side, anyone can contribute to that information. As such, it can be hard to know who to trust.

We use reputable sources for our articles. We always check established dictionaries and trustworthy authorities in the English language. Here are just a few:

Or, you can read a variety of blogs and decide for yourself which ones to trust. Which ones consistently give accurate information? Which ones cite their sources? Let your sources earn your trust!

Concluding Thoughts on 'However' vs. 'How ever'

Let's return to the discussion on whether to use 'however' or 'how ever.' The above dictionaries list 'however' as the correct spelling for the word in its intensifier/interrogative sense. There's no trace of 'how ever.'

Even Grammarly tries to change our spelling when we've used 'how ever' within this text.

Therefore, we'll have to use 'however' as the correct spelling!

I hope you've found this article helpful and feel clearer about which one to use. And don't forget, check your sources!

We encourage you to share this article on Twitter and Facebook. Just click those two links - you'll see why.

It's important to share the news to spread the truth. Most people won't.

Written By:
Carly Forsaith
Carly Forsaith is one of the lead freelance writers for WritingTips.org. Carly is a copywriter who has been writing about the English language for over 3 years. Before that, she was a teacher in Thailand, helping people learn English as a second language. She is a total grammar nerd and spends her time spotting language errors on signs and on the internet.

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