I'm writing a short anthology for an English class that requires a reflection. In the reflection, I state, "...let's the poem be interpreted how ever the reader feels fit...", I understand that the word can be used in different ways depending on the meaning one is looking for, as well as the fact that "ever" is usually used to emphasize the sentence it's used in/object or question.

What I'm looking for is how I should use "however" in the sentence; meaning the reader can analyze/understand the poem how they wish, in order to possibly give the poem a deeper meaning or connection to the reader. Examples of how I am trying to use the word are: "How ever you please," like if someone is given $100 and are told they can do on whatever they want with it, whether that be buying something, saving, donating, or something else. Another example is, "It can be whatever you want it to be"

I'm wondering if I should use a different word/phrase, or if I can use "however" in the sentence?

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    "However" would be preferable in the examples you give, since in those cases it means "in what[ever] manner", but "how ever", though less preferable, isn't really wrong. You could use "how ever" in a sentence like "How ever did you do that?", in which "ever" acts merely acts as an intensifier.
    – tautophile
    May 31, 2018 at 5:41
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    As a side note, I'm curious about your use of let's instead of lets. I wonder if it was used intentionally in a way I'm not used to. May 31, 2018 at 8:55
  • @JasonBassford , I used "let's" because it can be broken down into the words, "let us," so in another way of reading the paper it can be read as "let us interpret the poem however we please." I hope that answers your question:) and please tell me if I used it in the format...haha
    – Wynni C.
    May 31, 2018 at 17:57
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    @WynniC. Ah. But "Let us the poem be interpreted" (which you quoted, if I expand it) doesn't make sense. It would make sense if it were "let us interpret the poem." :) May 31, 2018 at 18:01

1 Answer 1


To answer your question, the adverb "however" is one word and should only be used that way.

When "ever" is used for emphasis after the word "how," you are using two separate words (not the adverb however), and you should write it as such. You typically only find this usage in spoken English (or a written dialog). It's not really all that common.

Your sentence, however, has other problems. It actually doesn't make any sense the way it's written.

"...let's the poem be interpreted how ever the reader feels fit..."

1) let's is incorrect. I think you mean:

"let the poem be interpreted..."

To use let's, you would have to say:

"let's interpret the poem"

but that would change the subject from the reader to "us."

2) The expression is to see fit, not to feel fit.

So the revised sentence would read:

let the poem be interpreted however the reader sees fit...

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