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However he studied hard, he failed the exam.

If I rewrite this sentence by using "although", is it necessary to put "very" in the "although sentence"?

Although he studied very hard, he failed the exam.

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    I think the first sentence (However he studied hard, he failed the exam.) is at least awkward and probably ungrammatical. It's better to write: However hard he studied, he (still) failed the exam. – Damkerng T. Sep 3 '15 at 9:02
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'Although' in itself does not lessen the intensity of an adverb. Said that, if you put 'although' the 'hard' remains 'hard' and does not become 'less hard' that requires you to again clarify by putting 'very'.

So, to answer this, no, it's not necessary to put 'very' unless you want to emphasize it.

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However he studied hard, he failed the exam.

This sentence has at least three possible readings, but each entails at least a formal error:

  1. If the sense is, as you suggest, that he failed despite studying hard, the word however is unidiomatic: it is not used to mean although.

  2. It is just possible that however is intended to express some contrast with what has gone before. If this is the case, it should be set off with a comma, and the second clause requires a preceding conjunction. Since and would not make sense under this reading, the conjunction should be but; and since that, too, is contrastive it should be preceded by a semicolon, not a comma:

    However, he studied hard; but he failed the exam.

  3. The most likely reading is that however is intended in its adverbial sense, modifiying hard: either "No matter how diligently he studied, he (repeatedly) failed the exam" or "I don't care how diligently he studied, he failed the exam". If this is the case, hard is misplaced: it should come immediately after however:

    However hard he studied, he failed the exam.

There is no need for very in any of these readings.

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