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Which would be correct in the following context?

They had done this, though, while neglecting one of the most important aspects of our Father’s love, which is freedom.

They had done this, however, while neglecting one of the most important aspects of our Father’s love, which is freedom.


marked as duplicate by user66974, Edwin Ashworth, anongoodnurse, FumbleFingers, Chenmunka Sep 4 '15 at 11:15

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  • 1
    This context is a little different. I also don't use but. – jo99blackops Aug 29 '15 at 21:28
  • @jo99blackops: But but would work perfectly well in the initial position in your example, a somewhat "daisy-chained" syntactic structure that while potentially interesting might be improved by a little refactoring, which is not that difficult to do. – FumbleFingers Aug 29 '15 at 21:33
  • Could you provide an example as I don't know what refactoring is. – jo99blackops Aug 29 '15 at 21:38

According to Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary 1913, the words are both rough synonyms when used as adverbs but 'though' is a little less specific and intimate:

Though, adv. However; nevertheless; notwithstanding; -- used in familiar language, and in the middle or at the end of a sentence.

Nominally I would recommend however as being less ambiguous more generalized formal, however since you mention a father's love, though is preferable in this case. Notice these relevant definitions of familiar from the same dictionary:

Familiar (?), a. [OE. familer, familier, F. familier, fr. L. familiaris, fr. familia family. See Family.]

  1. Of or pertaining to a family; domestic. Familiar feuds." Byron.

  2. Closely acquainted or intimate, as a friend or companion; well versed in, as any subject of study; as, familiar with the Scriptures.

  3. Characterized by, or exhibiting, the manner of an intimate friend; not formal; unconstrained; easy; accessible. In loose, familiar strains." Addison.

Granted, I have a hunch that this is a religious context, rather than one relating to the domestic family, though if that is the case, there is a reason Jesus referred to God as a Father and I believe this matches up with that nicely, somehow.


A correction, actually, however is not less ambiguous exactly, since it contains the same synonym set:

However (?), adv. [Sometimes contracted into howe'er.]

  1. In whetever manner, way, or degree.

  2. At all events; at least; in any case.

conj. Nevertheless; notwithstanding; yet; still; though; as, I shall not oppose your design; I can not, however, approve of it.

Syn. -- However, At least, Nevertheless, Yet. These words, as here compared, have an adversative sense in reference to something referred to in the context.

However is the most general, and leads to a final conclusion or decision. Thus we say, the truth, however, has not yet fully come out; i.e., such is the speaker's conclusion in view of the whole case. So also we say, however, you may rely on my assistance to that amount; i. e., at all events, whatever may happen, this is my final decision. At least is adversative in another way. It points out the utmost concession that can possibly be required, and still marks the adversative conclusion; as, at least, this must be done; whatever may be our love of peace, we must at least maintain the rights of conscience.

Nevertheless denotes that though the concession be fully made, it has no bearing of the question; as, nevertheless, we must go forward.

Yet signifies that however extreme the supposition or fact comceded may be, the consequence which might naturally be expected does not and will not follow; as, though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee; though he slay me, yet will I trust in him. Cf. But.

I included these other synonyms for further consideration. However is however, still more formal. You may want to consider yet in this case, since this sounds like it may also be a case of intent that betrays the actions exercised. Namely seems like show of faith without faith, denoting a contrary result from the intent of performing the action, either through the action failing to strengthen faith or the failure of the action to actually prove faithfulness.

  • I don't understand how religion affects the choice of words here. Can you explain this? – michael_timofeev Aug 30 '15 at 2:25
  • Thank you! I'm going to go with however, and yes, the Father in this sentence in God the Father. – jo99blackops Aug 30 '15 at 3:02
  • @michael_timofeev It is not an inherently religious word. It just makes sense to use it when you are discussing things with members of the extended family of Christians. The monks who consider themselves brethren, the higher ranking members of the clergy who are considered fathers, God as the ultimate creator, protector and mentor of the brotherhood of mankind, et cetera. Aside from direct references, it also makes sense to use familiar language with an audience consisting of Christians or people you want to evangelize into the fold. It's close, tight knit and suggests goodwill. – Tonepoet Aug 30 '15 at 4:26
  • @Tonepoet I ask because your answer makes no sense to me. So which word should the OP use? – michael_timofeev Aug 30 '15 at 14:16

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