Distinguishing Nevertheless from Nonetheless

Nevertheless and nonetheless are two adverbs within the English language that carry very similar meanings. They can be used interchangeably and are almost synonymous. These words are often used to convey the meaning of “despite” or “in spite of,” which might cause confusion for English language learners regarding which one to use in a specific context. The objective of this article is to determine if there are any differences between the two words.

More people tend to use “nevertheless” rather than “nonetheless,” even though both adverbs have the same meaning. This might be because “nevertheless” is generally considered to sound better according to individuals who were asked about their preference. Examining the history of the two words reveals that “nevertheless” is much older, dating back to the 14th century, while “nonetheless” only emerged in the 16th century. For many people, “nonetheless” seems archaic and unusual. Some individuals argue that “nonetheless” is very close in meaning to “anyway” when used alongside “thanks.” Nowadays, both words are mainly confined to written English, as most people opt for the less formal term “however.”

Consider the following sentences:

– Climbing this peak has always proved dangerous for mountaineers. Nevertheless, I am going to give it a try.
– He made a mess of the job at the office, but I like him nonetheless.
– Sammy did not prepare for the exam. He passed it nevertheless.

Key Takeaways

  • Both “nevertheless” and “nonetheless” convey the same meaning of “despite” and “in spite of.”
  • These adverbs are both very formal and primarily used in written English since “however” has taken their place in spoken English.
  • Of the two, “nevertheless” is much more common and generally preferred by people.
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard is an accomplished writer with expertise in creating engaging articles and content across various platforms. His dedication to research and crafting high-quality content has led to over 5 years of professional writing and editing experience. In his personal life, Gil enjoys connecting with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. His curiosity and eagerness to learn from others fuel his passion for communication. He believes that engaging with strangers can be both enlightening and enjoyable, making it easier to strike up conversations and expand one's horizons.


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