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I am writing a paper and stumbled upon this sentence of mine.

"The output remained consistently poor however the data was/were analysed".

"The output remained consistently poor how ever the data was/were analysed".

I LOOKED for answers ONLINE ONLY TO GET FURTHER CONFUSED.

I want the readers to understand that no matter how you analyze the data, the output would remain poor.

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Here you're using however as an adverb, meaning no matter how or in whatever way. Since you said that your intention is "no matter how you analyze the data, the output would remain poor", however is the correct choice.

When one uses how ever, "ever" usually takes the role of an intensifier -- it increases the strength of the statement being made with "how".

For example,

How ever did you fix the car?

is an expression of surprise or shock at the car being fixed, and could be rephrased as

How did you ever fix the car?

Both of these statements are stronger than

How did you fix the car?

which suggests only interested curiosity rather than a burning question.

Using "how ever" here in your sentence would not be standard English, since you wouldn't substitute how all by itself and still have a grammatically standard sentence. Use "however".

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  • The output remained consistently poor how ever the data was/were analysed". (i.e., how ever you analyze the data, the output ...poor)

When ever is used for emphasis after how or why, it should be written as a separate word.

Thus it is correct to write ‘how ever did you manage?’ rather than ‘however did you manage?’ (as distinct from other uses of the adverb however, which is always written as one word- Oxford dictionaries).

When ever is used as an intensifier immediately after an interrogative pronoun such as what, who, how, as it often is in informal conversation, it should never be joined up to the pronoun in written English. (Fowler's Modern English usage.)

  • Why ever did you do that?
  • How ever are you going to manage? is right, and
  • However are you going to manage? is wrong.

An old rule that has pretty much faded into oblivion is that at the beginning of a sentence one should use “however” not as a conjunction, but only as an adverb: (CMOS)

  • “However old I get, I’ll never give up bobsledding.
  • Thx for the references, makes life easier. so am right in \the second sentence, how ever..? – adityasrivastav May 21 '15 at 14:14
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The choice depends on your intended meaning, which cannot be determined from the sentences as currently written. The ambiguity is due to "however" having two different meanings because of its ability to function as an adverbial conjunction:

"The output remained consistently poor however the data were analysed". "The output remained consistently poor; however, the data were analysed". "The output remained consistently poor. However, the data were analysed".

All three are grammatically correct. Which to choose depends entirely on what you intend to convey.

You could write:

"The output remained consistently poor however the data were analysed".

if you mean

"The output remained consistently poor regardless of the method used to analyse the data."

You could write:

"The output remained consistently poor; however, the data were analysed". or "The output remained consistently poor. However, the data were analysed".

if you mean either

"The output remained consistently poor, but the data were analysed as required". or "The output remained consistently poor, but the data were analysed even though the analysis was pointless".

This version:

"The output remained consistently poor how ever the data were analysed".

is ungrammatical so need not be considered

The point here is that, as written, the originals are ambiguous as to what you are trying to say. Were I personally to read

"The output remained consistently poor however the data were analysed".

I would assume that you did not improperly punctuate the sentence and that you meant

"The output remained consistently poor regardless of the method used to analyse the data."

BUT if I were to find a grammatical mistake elsewhere the paper, I would consider this sentence to be ambiguous. Also, I am not other people. Knowing how others would interpret the sentence is impossible.

Ultimately, the sentence should be recast.

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