I have this quiz:

__ he tried to cover up the truth, it came out at last.

A. No matter what

B. Whatever

C. No matter how

D. However hard

The given answer is D but I think all the four are right.

My reason is that the following sentences both make sense to me:

  • He tried everything to conceal the truth. => what
  • He tried very hard to conceal the truth. => how
  • 4
    You're correct that all four answers fit here.. But while we cover objects we cover up or conceal what we do not wish to become public knowledge. – Ronald Sole Jun 28 '18 at 11:32
  • 1
    All four are correct without further information. I can only assume there is some context around the quiz that has not been given. – Jason Bassford Jun 28 '18 at 15:53

I am not a native speaker, so my answer is just an FYI.

I think A, C and D can fit, but D is most likely the intended answer, based upon the following reasons:

  1. You need a conjunction to connect two independent clause, so B (whatever) is not fit.
  2. All A, C and D can fit for the sentence grammatically. But semantically, D is the intended answer:

    No matter what he tried to cover the truth means though he tried a lot of things to cover the truth.

    No matter how he tried to cover the truth means though he tried to cover the truth in many ways.

    However hard he tried to cover the truth means no matter how hard he tried to cover the truth.

  • But I think whatever is a conjunction too: Whatever you do, slow down and take your time. – 尤慕李 Jun 28 '18 at 12:07
  • @尤慕李, yeah, you may be correct. Interestingly, some dictionaries say it can be a conjunction. The one I originally looked up doesn't have it. – dan Jun 28 '18 at 12:13

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