4

I know it is generally okay to omit 'that' which introduces a sentence, but I am not sure if it is OK to omit 'that' right after 'however' which is put in the middle of a sentence as follows.

I have to admit, however, that I was wrong.
I have to admit, however, I was wrong.

Is the second sentence okay without 'that'? At first, I thought it would be all right, but on second thought, it is not correct if I drop it because 'that' comes after a comma.

'That' right after a comma should not be omitted, should it?

1 Answer 1

3

I don't think the problem is with however. These rules will make my point clear.

You can also use however near the beginning of a sentence to mean ‘but’, ‘nevertheless’ or ‘regardless of the fact’. It is often used this way for emphasis.

The 2010–2011 Federal Budget was no fiscal revolution. It did, however, mark the first ‘real’ step towards tax reform following the Henry Review.

When you use however in the middle of a sentence to separate two clauses, it is usually separated with a semicolon and a comma (... ;however,…). Many modern writers use a comma instead of the semicolon, but the semicolon is still regarded as more correct.

The 2010–2011 Federal Budget was no fiscal revolution; however, it did mark the first ‘real’ step towards tax reform following the Henry Review.

You can avoid the semicolon if you replace however with but or yet.

The 2010–2011 Federal Budget was no fiscal revolution, but it did mark the first ‘real’ step towards tax reform following the Henry Review.

However, when used to mean ‘no matter how’ or ‘in whatever way’ doesn’t need commas.

I want you to finish your report today however busy you are.

Though you've used however in the middle of your sentence, it still means 'nevertheless' or 'in spite of a previously stated fact'.

Look at this: I have to admit that I was wrong.

By adding 'however' in the middle of the sentence, you're just adding an additional detail, that's all. This addition does not affect the 'I have to admit that...' structure.

I have to admit I was wrong. This is also right because of the reasons listed here. Now, even if you add 'however', the original structure remains the same.

The conclusion is that both the sentences are right.

5
  • I don't think that many 'modern writers' use a comma instead of a semicolon before adverbial however, unless by 'modern writers' we mean highschool students and bloggers who don't edit. Otherwise, good answer.
    – Anonym
    Jun 12, 2015 at 4:40
  • That was mentioned in the article, that's why I mentioned it too. I wasn't very sure about the use of a comma before 'however', but I've seen people using it. Jun 12, 2015 at 4:46
  • 1
    Both the sentences are grammatically acceptable, but the one without that is fuzzier semantically. Particularly if you take the comma as a stylistic alternative for a semicolon, as Ashwarya A R seems to. If the example did have a semicolon I have to admit; however, I was wrong. so he has to admit something, and he was wrong about somethiing, but the "however" makes us wonder whether it was the same thing. Jun 12, 2015 at 8:08
  • I have to admit; however, I was wrong is just - well - wrong, surely. In the original example The [...] Budget was no fiscal revolution; however, it did..., the semicolon is in its familiar role joining two independent clauses together (the second clause happens to start with "however"). In the case we're looking at now, "I have to admit" isn't a well-formed independent clause, so that shouldn't be a semi-colon.
    – Morton
    Jun 12, 2015 at 10:05
  • Thank all of you for your sincere comments! These help a lot.
    – karma
    Jun 16, 2015 at 1:38

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.