After making a statement in the prior sentence, I want to make a statement that contradicts it and then asks a question. I want to use however and I want to know to make my contrarian statement. I am just unsure of the best way to go about this.

Here are the three options that narrowed it down to:

Option 1:

... end of statement. I want to know, however, are there any ... ?

Option 2:

... end of statement. However, what I want to know is: Are there any ... ?

Option 3 (combination of 1 and 2):

... end of statement. What I want to know, however, is: Are there any ... ?

Note: Feel free to correct my tags for this question. I have no idea how to best tag this type of question other than the 3 I chose.

marked as duplicate by FumbleFingers, Mitch, Kristina Lopez, Daniel, MrHen Feb 26 '14 at 19:05

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  • @FumbleFingers - That question does not help me and neither do any of the other 3. What makes this different is the contrarian statement part of it. – Code Maverick Feb 10 '14 at 17:43
  • @CodeMaverick Try this one: english.stackexchange.com/questions/104864/… – Aleks N. Feb 10 '14 at 17:46
  • @AlaksiejN. - I read that one already and it doesn't talk about having a question within your contrarian statement. – Code Maverick Feb 10 '14 at 17:52
  • @Code Maverick: I can't see any reason why preceding the "statement" by a "contrastive" word such as however, but, nevertheless should make any difference to subsequent orthography. What makes you think it might? – FumbleFingers Feb 10 '14 at 17:54
  • @FumbleFingers - I modified my title to be more clear. It's more about the use of however within that contrarian statement that ends in a question. – Code Maverick Feb 10 '14 at 17:58

Option 1 (.... I want to know, however, are there any ...) emphasizes the question you are about to ask.

Option 2 (... However, what I want to know is...) emphasizes that you have disagreement with the statement before it.

Option 3 actually increases (more than option 1) the attention to your question.

The difference is stylistic; who is your audience? A more formal audience might not appreciate option 3. It's dramatic. What is your intent? If you want it to be dramatic, use option 3. If you want to sound convincing, I'd advise against option 3. In terms of dramatic effect, option 2 is the calmest, option 1 more direct, and option 3 the most dramatic.

  • I have a subject that I want to find out the reasoning behind why it is how it is. There is a major and obvious reason, but I don't want to discuss that. I want to discuss any possible reason other than that reason. So I'm not disagreeing with the prior statement. I'm simple wanting to exclude it from the discussion. With that in mind, what do you suggest? – Code Maverick Feb 10 '14 at 19:56
  • Hmm. I would go with However at the beginning of the sentence. I think it's a non-dramatic (therefore "level headed" approach to use), but of course it's your writing. :) – anongoodnurse Feb 10 '14 at 20:14
  • That's the one I have currently, so it seems I chose wisely =D – Code Maverick Feb 10 '14 at 20:17

Possible option (a): end of statement. I want to know, however, whether there are any... Possible option (b): end of statement. However, what I want to know is, "Are there any...?"

  • Yes, a subordinate clause (after 'whether' or more colloquially 'if') in a report structure, or a quote structure. But I wouldn't handle the quote structure with introductory comma and inverted commas. OP's options 2 and 3 are quite acceptable to many nowadays, possibly without the capitalisations (of 'are'). – Edwin Ashworth Feb 10 '14 at 18:09
  • @EdwinAshworth - Yes, I was confused about whether or not are should have been capitalized. My thought was that since I was using a colon and that a question followed, that it should. – Code Maverick Feb 10 '14 at 18:12
  • With the loosening of the once strict rules regulating punctuation of quote structures, and modern quasi-quote structures, rules for capitalisation are also open to question. I think there's a 'He wished me [a] ["] M/merry Christmas["] free-for-all in a thread here somewhere. – Edwin Ashworth Feb 10 '14 at 18:17

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