I know that "however" can be used to contrast a sentence against the preceding sentence. Is the use of "however" in the following sentences correct?

The [name of channel] channel is found to be the most important for [name of some financial market] However, the overall effect of the [name of some channel] channel appears to be minor for [name of some other financial market]

In other words: is "the most important" really a contrast to "appears to be minor"?

  • Yes, it works fine in this context. You have some other grammatical errors in the sentence, but not with your use of "however".
    – Andrew
    Jan 7, 2017 at 0:09
  • Thank you! I am wondering what the other errors are then? :)
    – peter
    Jan 7, 2017 at 0:16
  • Actually more style. "for markets for government bonds" should be "markets of government bonds" or as previous "government bond markets"
    – Andrew
    Jan 7, 2017 at 0:23
  • Also "is found to be" is passive voice which is generally unnecessary. If there's a way to rewrite without using the passive voice it'll sound better. By the way when I edited your question I notice you use two single quotes instead of a double quote, which does not look right on my computer. You should use double quotes instead, if possible.
    – Andrew
    Jan 7, 2017 at 0:24
  • Ah, alright thank you, but it should still be: "[..]be minor for markets of government bonds in the periphery of the Eurozone." right? So, with the word "for"' in front of markets?
    – peter
    Jan 7, 2017 at 0:35

2 Answers 2


First off, starting a sentence with the adverb "however" is grammatical; you have used it to say something that is surprising or different from or contrasts with your previous statement, Second, the use of the preposition "for" before "markets" doesn't sound appropriate. You are referring to the noun "effect" that takes the preposition "on". So you say:

"However, the overall effect of the portfolio balance channel appears to be minor on the markets for government bonds......" . You can also say "on the markets of government bonds", but the former is more common.

  • Thank you for your comment! I think I get the idea now (also because of the other reactions). With respect to your second option: "for markets of government bonds", the following is also correct right? : ''[...]..for government bond markets in the core of the eurozone''
    – peter
    Jan 7, 2017 at 17:45
  • @peter, I think you can also say "on the government bond markets".
    – Khan
    Jan 7, 2017 at 19:31

Starting a sentence with "However," is often used to avoid breaking another rule that you should not start a sentence with "But,". Where possible you should re-write the second sentence. In this particular example it might be better to use;

The effect of the portfolio balance channel appears to be minor for markets with government bonds in the periphery of the Eurozone.

or even;

This effect appears to be minor for markets with government bonds in the periphery of the Eurozone.

The use of "However, " in the original quote is acceptable. You will often see this form of use to make it easier to understand the contrast between the sentences. In general though a re-write of the second sentence is better.

  • While I agree with your style recommendation, you didn't answer the root question which is whether "however" is ok in that sentence. If you can add that to your answer I will upvote. (You can reference or ignore my comments as you choose ;)
    – Andrew
    Jan 7, 2017 at 0:30
  • Thank you! However, is markets with government bonds also correct since @Andrew named it as "markets of government bonds"?
    – peter
    Jan 7, 2017 at 0:39
  • I think so, but it's tricky without knowing the full context. The double use of "for" did not appear correct. I think the government bonds are the items traded in the markets. It felt more natural to me to use "with". As commented by others there are several issues with the original text. I tried to keep my answer to the original question.
    – CJC
    Jan 7, 2017 at 0:46
  • 1
    But there is no such "rule" that you cannot start a sentence with but*—or with any conjunction. Moreover, suggesting that such a spurious rule is the reason for using *however is simply wrong, and wrong-headed.
    – Robusto
    Jan 7, 2017 at 1:02
  • Indeed there isn't. But so many people think it is a rule that it has become a convention anyway. writing-skills.com/…
    – CJC
    Jan 7, 2017 at 10:50

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