I know that the word "however" can serve as a conjunction meaning "in whatever manners". But may I confirm if this is only a practice of American English, or it is also commonly used this way in British English?

Example sentence: //However you look at it, it’s still a mess// Source: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/however

Many thanks!

  • 2
    I've answered below, but your own example from cambridge.org would seem to confirm that it is British English usage. After all, cambridge.org is part of Cambridge University Press.
    – user02814
    Apr 3, 2019 at 4:29
  • you mean as an (indefinite) adverb
    – Toothrot
    Apr 3, 2019 at 8:43
  • 1
    @user02814 - That's only any help if you know that Cambridge University Press is part of the University of Cambridge, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England, and nothing to do with either Harvard or MIT (both located in Cambridge, Middlesex, Massachusetts, USA).
    – AndyT
    Apr 4, 2019 at 14:26

2 Answers 2


However you look at it, it’s still a mess.

This is a common-enough expression.

Here, "however" is a relative adverb in a fused relative construction. The meaning is:

Any way that you choose to look at it, it's still a mess.


This is standard British English usage. In fact the first meaning given in the Oxford English Dictionary for the word "however" is qualifying a verb, "in whatever manner or by whatever means". The usage examples given date from as early as the 14th century.

  • But the OED samples all forms of English, not just British sources. Aug 20, 2021 at 16:30

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