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Here are some sentences with 'Yet', 'however' and 'and'

  1. She hasn't got many friends, yet everyone likes her.

  2. She hasn't got many friends, however, everyone likes her.

  3. She hasn't got many friends, but everyone likes her.

I'm actually confused with the use of ‘yet’ because it's quite similar to ‘but’ and ‘however’. So, how is ‘yet’ different from them? Could you please tell me how to distinguish the differences in the usage of them.

  • 1
    #2 does not make sense for me. – Abbasi Dec 23 '16 at 8:24
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In this context, all three have much the same meaning. "However" is a bit more of a "formal" expression and so you would normally put a longer pause or a full stop before saying or writing it.

I like most food. However, I'm not all that fond of lobster.

as compared to

I like most food, but I'm not all that fond of lobster.

As an expression to indicate a change in direction, both "yet" and "but" mean much the same thing and are interchangeable. You might substitute one for the other to avoid repetition:

I like most food, but I'm not all that fond of lobster. Yet I like crab.

This means exactly the same thing as:

I like most food, yet I'm not all that fond of lobster. But I like crab.

  • In this context they could mean the same but I'm asking about the differences in the usage of them in any kind of context. The context I provided is merely an example which doesn't necessarily provides all context to distinguish their usage – yubraj Dec 25 '16 at 7:36
  • @yubrajsharma it would be difficult to give examples in any context. I'd be creating examples for the rest of my life. But keep in mind that "but" is a simple conjunction that indicates a change in the direction of a sentence, while "yet" has other meanings like "not before this/that moment". So, sometimes, "yet" can carry a nuance that includes both meanings. I can't think of any but there are many clever writers out there who will take advantage of these kind of language ambiguities. – Andrew Dec 25 '16 at 16:11
  • Ok But What's the difference between' however' and 'yet' in this context ? I would appreciate your help. – yubraj Dec 26 '16 at 9:21
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She hasn't got many friends, yet everyone likes her.

Yet is a conjunction here to introduce something surprising after what you have just said. I feel it means something like in spite of a fact or at the same time. It sounds better than the others in this sentence because these sentences are about one person and are very related to each other.

In spite of the fact that she hasn't got many friends, everyone likes her.

However:

She hasn't got many friends; however, everyone likes her.

However is an adverb here and should come after a dot or semicolon. Like "yet", it introduces something that seems surprising or very different from what you have said. It doesn't sound well in the sentence above, but it intends to add an unexpected fact. However is more formal than the others . It is also more suitable to connect two long and more independent sentences, while "but" is used as a conjunction for shorter opposite and joint clauses or even two nouns or two adjectives.

She hasn't got many friends, but everyone likes her.

As I said but is a conjunction and in this sentence acts similar to however, but it's more suitable for these two short sentences. To me, it means "no matter"

  • Yet, but and however all serve in this context as conjunctions contrasting the subject's lack of friends with her general popularity. There is no difference in meaning here; it's simply a matter of preference. – Ronald Sole Dec 23 '16 at 12:08
  • In this context they could mean the same but I'm asking about the differences in the usage of them in any kind of context. The context I provided is merely an example which doesn't necessarily provides all context to distinguish their usage. – yubraj Dec 25 '16 at 7:36
  • @yubrajsharma what I wrote is their definition in LongMan dictionary. You see they don't differ much. I added some other info to my answer. – Ahmad Dec 25 '16 at 7:54

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