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However vs. Otherwise: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
"However" is used to introduce a contrasting point, while "Otherwise" indicates a different outcome or condition if circumstances were to change.
However vs. Otherwise

Key Differences

"However" is primarily used as a conjunction or adverb to introduce a statement that contrasts with or seems to contradict something that has been said previously. "Otherwise," on the other hand, is an adverb used to indicate that if circumstances were different, the outcome or situation would also be different.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 25, 2023
In sentence structure, "however" often appears at the beginning or in the middle, creating a pause to introduce the contrast. "Otherwise" is typically used at the end of a sentence or clause to suggest an alternative outcome.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 25, 2023
The use of "however" is common in both formal and informal writing, serving to show the complexity of an issue by presenting an opposing viewpoint. "Otherwise" is frequently used to imply a condition or to offer a warning about potential consequences.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 25, 2023
"However" can be replaced with words like "but" or "yet" without changing the sentence's meaning significantly. In contrast, "otherwise" is often synonymous with "or else," suggesting a condition-based outcome.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 25, 2023
The word "however" is versatile, also functioning as a transitional adverb to indicate a slight change in the subject. "Otherwise," while less versatile, is crucial for indicating conditional relationships and potential different outcomes.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 25, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Function

Introduces a contrast
Indicates a different outcome
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Nov 25, 2023

Position in Sentence

Start, middle, or end
Usually at the end
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Nov 25, 2023

Synonyms

But, yet
Or else
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Nov 25, 2023

Usage in Writing

Formal and informal
Formal and informal
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Nov 25, 2023

Indicates

Contradictory point
Conditional outcome
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 25, 2023
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However and Otherwise Definitions

However

It contrasts a previous statement.
She was tired; however, she continued working.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 21, 2023

Otherwise

It shows a conditional result.
Study hard; otherwise, you might not pass.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 21, 2023

However

It specifies the extent of something.
The task is difficult; however, not impossible.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 21, 2023

Otherwise

It suggests what could happen if conditions change.
Leave now, otherwise you'll be late.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 21, 2023

However

It shows different possibilities.
He prefers tea; however, coffee is acceptable too.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 21, 2023
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Otherwise

It warns about potential negative outcomes.
Follow the instructions; otherwise, it won't work.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 21, 2023

However

It moderates a statement.
The results were good; however, they could be better.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 21, 2023

Otherwise

It can mean in another way.
She said it otherwise, using simpler words.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 21, 2023

However

It introduces a related but different point.
The plan was risky; however, it was the only option.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 21, 2023

Otherwise

It implies a different situation under altered circumstances.
He needs to rest; otherwise, he'll get sick.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 21, 2023

However

In spite of that; nevertheless; yet
The book is expensive.
However, it's worth it.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Otherwise

In another way; differently
She thought otherwise.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

However

On the other hand; by contrast
The first part was easy.
The second, however, took hours.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Otherwise

Under other circumstances
Otherwise I might have helped.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

However

To whatever degree or extent
"The prospect of success, however remote, was tantalizing" (Stephen Baker).
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Otherwise

In other respects
An otherwise logical mind.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

However

In what way. Used as an intensive of how
However did you get here so soon?.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Otherwise

Used to indicate a category to which the preceding adverb does not apply
All the students, dressed suitably and otherwise, went on the field trip.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

However

In whatever manner or way that
Dress however you like.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Otherwise

Or else.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

However

(Archaic) Notwithstanding that; although
"Howe'er thou art a fiend, / a woman's shape doth shield thee" (Shakespeare).
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Otherwise

If not; or else.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

However

(conjunctive) Nevertheless; yet, still; in spite of that.
He told me not to do it. However, I did it anyway. / I did it anyway, however. / I, however, did it anyway.
She wanted to go; however, she decided against it.
I didn't argue with him; I still think, however, that he is wrong.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Otherwise

Other than supposed; different
The evidence is otherwise.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

However

(conjunctive) In contrast.
The conference itself went very well. The party afterwards, however, was a disaster.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Otherwise

(manner) Differently, in another way.
You may have a point, but I think otherwise.
Could I do otherwise than smile?
It is not permitted to sell or otherwise distribute any copies.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

However

(degree) To whatever degree or extent.
However clear you think you've been, many questions will remain.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Otherwise

(conjunctive) In different circumstances; or else.
I’m not well today, otherwise I would have helped.
You have to open your umbrella, otherwise you'll get wet.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

However

In any way that one likes or chooses; in a haphazard or spontaneous way.
I don't care; just do it however.
Nothing was really planned; things just happened however.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Otherwise

(conjunctive) In all other respects.
He lost his temper once in a while. Otherwise he behaved rationally.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

However

(interrogative) How ever: an emphatic form of how, used to ask in what manner.
I thought it was impossible. However were you able to do it?
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Otherwise

Other than supposed; different.
He said he didn’t do it, but the evidence was otherwise.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

However

(obsolete) In any case, at any rate, at all events.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Otherwise

In a different manner; in another way, or in other ways; differently; contrarily.
Thy father was a worthy prince,And merited, alas! a better fate;But Heaven thought otherwise.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

However

Regardless of the way in which.
Let me know when you've had your interview, however it goes.
However we do this, it isn't going to work.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Otherwise

In other respects.
It is said, truly, that the best men otherwise are not always the best in regard of society.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

However

In any way in which.
She offered to help however she could.
Wear your hair however you want.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Otherwise

In different circumstances; under other conditions; as, I am engaged, otherwise I would accept.
Let no man think me a fool; if otherwise, yet as a fool receive me.
Her eyebrows . . . rather full than otherwise.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

However

(proscribed) But, yet, though, although.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Otherwise

Other than as supposed or expected;
The outcome was otherwise
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

However

In whetever manner, way, or degree.
However yet they me despise and spite.
Howe'er the business goes, you have made fault.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Otherwise

In other respects or ways;
He is otherwise normal
The funds are not otherwise available
An otherwise hopeless situation
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

However

At all events; at least; in any case.
Our chief end is to be freed from all, if it may be, however from the greatest evils.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Otherwise

In another and different manner;
Very soon you will know differently
She thought otherwise
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

However

Nevertheless; notwithstanding; yet; still; though; as, I shall not oppose your design; I can not, however, approve of it.
In your excuse your love does little say;You might howe'er have took a better way.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

However

Despite anything to the contrary (usually following a concession);
Although I'm a little afraid, however I'd like to try it
While we disliked each other, nevertheless we agreed
He was a stern yet fair master
Granted that it is dangerous, all the same I still want to go
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

However

By contrast; on the other hand;
The first part was easy; the second, however, took hours
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

However

To whatever degree or extent;
The results, however general, are important
They have begun, however reluctantly, to acknowledge the legitimacy of some of the opposition's concerns
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

However

In whatever way or manner;
Victory, however it was brought about, was sweet
However he did it, it was very clever
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

However

In what way or manner or by what means (`however' is sometimes used as an intensive form of `how');
How did you catch the snake?
He told us how he did it
However did you get here so soon?
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Repeatedly Asked Queries

Can "otherwise" introduce a sentence?

It's less common; "otherwise" typically appears at the end.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 25, 2023

Is "otherwise" used for contrasting ideas?

No, "otherwise" suggests alternative outcomes, not direct contrasts.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 25, 2023

Can "however" indicate a slight change in topic?

Yes, it's used as a transitional adverb.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 25, 2023

Do "however" and "nevertheless" have similar uses?

Yes, they both introduce contrasting points.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 25, 2023

Are "however" and "but" interchangeable?

Often, but "however" is more formal.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 25, 2023

Is "however" formal?

Yes, it's often used in formal writing.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 25, 2023

Does "otherwise" imply a warning?

It can, particularly when suggesting negative consequences.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 25, 2023

Is "otherwise" a conditional term?

Yes, it often implies a condition for a different outcome.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 25, 2023

Can "however" start a sentence?

Yes, "however" can begin a sentence to introduce a contrast.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 25, 2023

Can "otherwise" be used in formal contexts?

Yes, it's suitable for both formal and informal use.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 25, 2023

Can "however" be used in the middle of a sentence?

Yes, often after a semicolon.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 25, 2023

Is "otherwise" used to offer alternatives?

Not directly, it suggests what could happen if conditions change.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 25, 2023

Does "otherwise" have synonyms?

"Or else" is a common synonym.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 25, 2023

Can "otherwise" be replaced with "if not"?

In many cases, yes, to indicate a conditional outcome.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 25, 2023

Is "however" used in everyday conversation?

Yes, though it's more common in writing.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 25, 2023

Are "however" and "although" similar?

They are similar but used differently in sentence structure.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 25, 2023

Does "otherwise" always need a preceding condition?

Typically, it follows a statement that sets a condition.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 25, 2023

Does "however" soften a statement?

It can, by introducing a moderated or alternate viewpoint.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 25, 2023

Can "otherwise" mean 'in other respects'?

Yes, it can also imply 'apart from that'.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 25, 2023

Is "however" only used for contradiction?

Mostly, though it can also indicate a degree or alternative.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 25, 2023

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Shumaila Saeed
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Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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