Using 'Though' and 'However': Part 2

28 June 2024

Hello! This week on Ask a Teacher, we continue to answer the 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".


Last week we said "though" and "however" are words that show a relationship between ideas. They express a difference in two or more things. We explained some differences in how and when we use the two words.

Their use in a clause is another difference between "though" and "however." This is one of the biggest problems English learners have using words like "though" and "however," so it is important to talk about.

First, let's review some terms and their meanings.

A clause is a grammar unit organized around a verb phrase. A clause is made of two parts: a subject and a verb.

For example, "We laughed" is a clause. "We" is the subject, and "laughed" is the verb.

"In the morning" is not a clause because it does not have a verb.

There are two main kinds of clauses. Independent clauses are not dependent on any other clause. They are sentences on their own. "We laughed" is an independent clause.

A dependent clause depends on an independent clause. It cannot be a sentence on its own. "Before I went," for example, is a dependent clause. While it has a subject and a verb, it requires additional information to be a full sentence or thought.

Now, let's return to "though" and "however."


We only use "however" to show a relationship between independent clauses. This means it must be used with two full thoughts.

For example:

Climate change affects every part of the world. However, it affects some countries more than others.

The school can receive $2 million for improving attendance; however, the staff may not be able to keep records.

In writing, we must always use a period or a semicolon between the two clauses.


"Though" can be used with a dependent or independent clause.

Using "though" at the beginning of a clause makes a dependent clause.

Though Ava does well in school

Although this clause does have a subject and a verb, it requires additional information to be a full thought. It must be used with an independent clause. For example:

Though Ava does well in school, she is not sure if she wants to go to university.

As we learned last week, "though" can also be used at the end of an independent clause. For example:

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

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 Andrew Smith.

Gena Bennett wrote this lesson for VOA Learning English.


Words in This Story

clausen. a grammar unit organized around a verb phrase

unitn. an amount of something; one thing

phrasen. a group of words that form an idea but that do not contain a subject or verb

topicn. a subject or idea

semicolonn. ; used to separate two independent clauses