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I've come across a sentence conversion question of the following type and am getting stumped.

We need to change the following sentence to a construction starting with "However...".

Though she is eccentric, she deserves to be respected.

Using "however" in the middle of the conversion would be straightforward, as in:

She is eccentric; however, she deserves to be respected.

The only option starting with "However" I can think of, is:

However eccentric she may be, she deserves to be respected.

But I can't help but feel that my construction introduces an element of 'degree' to the quality in question (ie. eccentricity) that is not present in the original sentence - the original sentence talks about respect when we're talking about the specific eccentricity present in the person in question, while my conversion is about respect no matter how much the eccentricity (all degrees of eccentricity).

Am I just overthinking this? Is the conversion wrong because of some other reason? Or is it just fine? Any help?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Though she is eccentric, she deserves to be respected.

In this sentence, though does not equal however, and you will change the intrinsic meaning of the sentence if forced to place however at the beginning. It means despite the fact that, even if, in spite of the fact that, etc., and emphasizes she is.

Even if she is eccentric, she deserves to be respected.

To make however express a meaning similar to though, it rightly belongs in the second clause, as you stated:

She is eccentric; however, she deserves to be respected.

Even here, there is a subtle emphasis shift from eccentricity to respect.

To have an equivalent sentence, you need more than however:

However, she deserves to be respected even if she is eccentric/despite her eccentricity.

You'll see a seeming redundancy in that construction, because however has now become merely a conjunction, which is not the function of though in the original sentence.

It's my opinion that you can't make two perfectly equivalent sentences given the constraints placed upon you.

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Your last option definitely seems to me to be the best possible option, despite the redundancy. Thanks –  Shisa Feb 18 at 10:18

I agree. The last sentence makes her more eccentric than the first two and emphasizes the state more than the respect.

How about

However eccentric, she deserves to be respected

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I feel like that has the same connotations as the one with '...she may be...'. In both cases, using the "however" with the adjective "eccentric" seems to imply that particular usage of "however" which means "to whatever extent". But the "however" the conversion seems to be looking for, feels like "adverb used to introduce a statement that contrasts with or seems to contradict something that has been said previously". Does this make sense? –  Shisa Feb 18 at 9:04
    
I feel the "she may be" is the emphasis –  mplungjan Feb 18 at 9:09
    
One Up, one uncommented downvote. Lazy... –  mplungjan Feb 18 at 9:47

The two occurrences of 'however' here are not the same part of speech, and do not have the same function.

She is eccentric; however, she deserves to be respected.

Here, 'however' is a sentence connector (semantic subclass contrastive) (one of the POS's classically piled up in the 'adverb' dustbin). Unlike 'though' or 'even though', it is never placed before the 'other' statement. Like 'though', it may be put at the end of the contrasting statement:

She is eccentric; she deserves to be respected though / (,)however.

The usage in

However eccentric she may be, she deserves to be respected.

is as an adjective-modifier (another of the POS's classically piled up in the 'adverb' dustbin).

The freedictionary articles show the difference, though the classifications given there disagree amongst themselves and with mine. The Collins treatment is the one I'd go with, if they'd just fully sort out the 'adverb = everything else' problem.

Some grammarians would argue that these are different words rather than different senses of the same word.

'We need to change the following sentence to a construction starting with "However..." ' is doomed.

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