The word "however" is used to lead off a sentence that counters a previous thought. Are there any alternative words or phrases that can substitute? I'm even looking for old English and obsolete words and phrases. I'm trying to add some creativity to my writing.

I'll start by including words that are nearly as tired:

  • Nevertheless
  • Moreover (not exactly the same thing as "However" and "Nevertheless", but can in limited cases be used)

Anyone have anything better?

  • As a substitute of "moreover", I also use "furthermore" or "in addition". Commented Apr 9, 2011 at 6:55

4 Answers 4


You could replace however with but, still, yet, though, although, even so, for all that, despite that, in spite of that, anyway, anyhow, be that as it may, all the same, having said that, and (informal) still and all.

  • "Be that as it may" is very good.
    – Wesley
    Commented Apr 9, 2011 at 18:48
  • I like to use "But,...". Err...*however*, I hear a lot that you shouldn't start sentences with it.
    – T.E.D.
    Commented Jun 14, 2011 at 17:52

A variant of "nevertheless" is "nonetheless". You'll also find expressions such as "in contrast", "on the other hand", "despite that" which mean essentially the same thing. In legal contracts, you'll sometimes find slightly more long-winded expressions such as "notwithstanding the above", "notwithstanding the foregoing".

  • Ohhh! Love the legalize!
    – Wesley
    Commented Apr 9, 2011 at 18:47

On the other hand




However (see what I did there?) these alternatives do not express exactly the same thing. Rather than pedantic proscriptive grammar, isn't it better to use the words we need, as they are widely understood, to express our thoughts as clearly as possible.

  • 1
    The OP isn't asking due to 'pedantic proscriptive grammar' rules, he's asking because he feels that "However" is used too often and would like alternatives (of which you provide none).
    – Doc
    Commented Feb 6, 2014 at 15:17

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