Can we use however and although in one and the same sentence?

For example

However, although there is small room for improvement.

  • You can even add one more word: theoretically, however, although there is small room for improvement… – Lucian Sava Oct 30 '14 at 13:43
  • Although he's small, my parrot's very strong.

  • My parrot's very strong, although he's small.

Although takes a finite clause, a mini-sentence, as a complement. Together, they form one phrase. In the examples above, we can see that this phrase can come before or after the main part of the sentence. This phrase contains extra information relating to the main clause. Notice that the word although has to be at the front the subordinate clause because it's part of the same phrase.

However on the other hand is an adverb. It isn't grammatically part of any other phrase in the sentence. Usually it contrasts the sentence it appears in with the previous one. It can appear in different places in the sentence, at the beginning, in the middle or at the end.

  • She's not very big. However, she can jump very far indeed.

  • She's not very big. She can jump very far indeed, however.

  • She's not very big. She can, however, jump very far indeed.

If we want to contrast a sentence using although with the sentence before it, we can do this using however.

The people in reception were always efficient and willing to take extra time to help us. However, although the rooms are large and modern, there were still all kinds of problems.

Here, however is contrasting the the problems with the nice reception staff. Although is contrasting the problems with the nice rooms.

The Original Example

There is a small problem with the Original Poster's example, which is that we have an although phrase, but no main clause! We could add another clause on to make it grammatical:

  • However, although there is small room for improvement, it is still an excellent piece of homework.

Hope this helps!

  • Doesn't "However, although there is small room for improvement, it is still an excellent piece of homework." require a prior clause? What is 'However' comparing or contrasting? – user3885927 Oct 21 '15 at 23:29
  • @user3885927 Yes, it's assuming that this isn't an essay in its own right :) So, you're quite right, there'd have to be some previous discourse. The previous sentence might be "It isn't perfect.", for example. – Araucaria - Not here any more. Oct 21 '15 at 23:32

It is certainly possible to use almost any two words in one and the same sentence (although some people would argue that's impossible if the words are honest and politician), however, the sentence could become quite long.

See what I did there?

Yes you can use them in one sentence. But you can not use them "together", they have to have a separate function in the sentence:

Finding money is usually difficult. In this case, however, although the costs are high, the management has promised to pay the bill.

Here, the clause with although can be left out without changing the main meaning of the sentence.

Your example sentence is not correct as a sentence. It could be the beginning of a correct sentence, but just like this, however is feeling a bit lonely :)

You can always try to fix all the last little details. However, although there (still) is small room for improvement, we will consider project finished.

  • politician), however, the sentence ... Many poeple would say that that however should be in a different sentence: politician). However, the sentence ... – Araucaria - Not here any more. Oct 30 '14 at 14:13
  • 1
    @Araucaria: yes, I stretched the sentence a bit with that comma; but it's just for effect :) – oerkelens Oct 30 '14 at 14:19
  • @Araucaria If by "many people," you mean teachers and/or grammar books and/or style guides, the issue is that they can provide only generalizations. For instance many people would insist upon not starting a sentence with however. As a writer you are free to construct your sentences as you please. The aim should be clarity and "understandibility." As an example I could have used a comma (,) before For instance and As a writer and As an example, but I chose not to. The more you write, the more you can grasp language not as a computer code but as something to be molded by you. – user6951 Oct 30 '14 at 14:43
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    @CarSmack Yes, hence the 'many people' hedge there! However, grammar-wise you need to be able to understand/explain that there is no grammatical glue sticking the sentence, clause with 'however' in it to the previous one - quite unlike 'although' which requires a grammatically superdordinate clause which it modifies. Also important to understand that 'however' always refers back to the previous lump of grammatically glued together bits. It doesn't just refer back to the previous clause! (ie normally it will contrast the present sentence with the previous one. – Araucaria - Not here any more. Oct 30 '14 at 16:02
  • @CarSmack I find your comment about not starting sentences with however a bit odd. ( - notice that nobody round here ever said that however should appear at the beginning of a sentence - nor did they say anything about commas ...) Do you know any sources who say you shouldn't begin a sentence with however? – Araucaria - Not here any more. Oct 30 '14 at 16:10

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