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Using 'Though' and 'However': Part 1

Using 'Though' and 'However': Part 1
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Hello! This week on Ask a Teacher, we answer a question from Edilson in Brazil about the difference between “though” and “however.”


Hi, this is Edilson, from Brazil, I follow Ask a Teacher and I love the way you approach explanations, I have a question, could you please explain? What is the difference between the use of the words "THO" and "HOWEVER".


Edilson Tonon


Thank you for writing, Edilson. This is a good question.

“Though” and “however” are words that show a relationship between ideas. Often, they both express a difference in two or more things. For example,

John is nice, though he’s not as nice as Michael.

Sofia wants to be a teacher. However, her parents want her to be a doctor.

Sometimes, the words show a difference that is not expected. For example,

Mohammed makes me angry sometimes. I like him, though.

The team did not win the competition. However, they are happy they played well.

They have a similar meaning, but there are differences in how and when we use the two words.


“Though” can show that one idea is not as important as another. When we use “though” in this way, we use it after the main idea. For example,

The event was fun, though I don’t know why.

The most important part of the sentence is that the event was fun.

We use “though” a lot in spoken English, and it is very common at the end of a sentence, like in the example I like him, though.


We can use “however” to emphasize a difference. For example,

I always feel busy. However, I am not as busy as you.

“However” is very common in written English.

In spoken English, “however” can be used as a more forceful way of saying “how.” When we use it this way, we stress the second part of the word, -ever. For example,

However will I choose?

There are other differences between these two words, but we can talk about them another time.

We hope this explanation helps you, Edilson.

Do you have a question about American English? Send us an email at

And that’s Ask a Teacher.

I’m Ashley Thompson.

Gena Bennett wrote this lesson for VOA Learning English.


Words in This Story

emphasizev. to give special importance, value, or attention

stressv. to give attention to one part of a word when speaking it