1

Should I place the semi-colon or the comma before or after the adverb ‘however’?

It was all a facade, however; every Bloke and every Avaran knows that Martin would destroy them all whenever he decided to finish his conquest.

closed as unclear what you're asking by RaceYouAnytime, Cascabel, Laurel, NVZ, David Jul 19 '17 at 8:31

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 4
    What exactly is your question? – 1006a Jul 18 '17 at 22:04
  • Welcome to English Language & Usage! What is it you’re trying to convey here? Your question looks like: "Which is the right answer? Potato or Unicorn? – NVZ Jul 19 '17 at 5:44
  • The question was not specifically clear, although it was fairly easy to guess the nature of the question, but its title and the tag [punctuation]. The answer provided by @geokavel also deserves a little more recognition. – Mari-Lou A Jul 19 '17 at 9:48
5

Each has a different meaning:

It was all a facade, however; every Bloke and every Avaran knows that Martin would destroy them all whenever he decided to finish his conquest.

This means that something ("It") had been a facade. The "however" implies that it being a facade comes as unexpected news.

It was all a facade; however, every Bloke and every Avaran knows that Martin would destroy them all whenever he decided to finish his conquest.

Here the "however" links to the second independent clause, not the first one. This version of the sentence says that, regardless of "It" being a facade, everyone knows that Martin would still destroy them.

The location of the semi-colon and comma indicate which clause the "however" relates to. Both are grammatically correct.

  • Very nice explanation. +1 here. – Kace36 Jul 18 '17 at 22:23
  • Perfect, you answered my question. I apologize for phrasing it inaccurately. I figured it would be understood. The current editing programs automatically suggest a coma/semicolon for every however. Yet, when I read the sentence, I don't want to follow suggestion. It seems doing anything in writing point blank is a mistake. The point of punctuation is, after all, to make the intent of the passage clear. Those intentions are usually made with inflection in the voice, very difficult to do on paper - hence the need for punctuation. Sometimes, it is difficult determine the line in punctuation. – Tracy Jul 22 '17 at 15:23

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