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I've asked this question using many platforms and tend to get conflicting answers. However, I believe the users of StackExchange will provide a trustworthy answer.

In the example above, my instinct is to combine the two sentences into one sentence. Would that be grammatically correct?

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You could combine sentences using a semicolon or keep them separate. The following text is from nationalpunctuationday.com.

Using 'however' as a conjunctive adverb: 'However' can be used to join two simple sentences to make a compound sentence. 'However' indicates the relationship between the two independent clauses is one of contrast or opposition. Use a semicolon before and a comma after 'however' when you are using it to write a compound sentence.

So, your example could be rephrased to this:

I've asked this question using many platforms and tend to get conflicting answers; however, I believe the users of StackExchange will provide a trustworthy answer.

Or, you could keep them as independent sentences:

I've asked this question using many platforms and tend to get conflicting answers. However, I believe the users of StackExchange will provide a trustworthy answer.

But, Purdue University recommends the first option as described below:

If you can combine simpler sentences into longer and more complex ones, your writing will have a lot more variety. It will also help you to communicate more content to your audiences—when you combine sentences, you can efficiently tell your readers about the relationships between different things.

I hope this helped!

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In the middle of a sentence, "however" would be both preceded and followed by a comma.

Example:

I love eggs, however, only when served with bacon!

Hope this helps. Happy writing!

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  • You have no evidence to support your reasoning which leads me to believe your argument is untrue. Please add a citation or a source. Dec 31, 2020 at 1:44
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    I think your eggs and bacon example is structurally different from the example in the question. If you're saying "I love eggs only when served with bacon", then sure, you can put however in the middle like that. But it's not true for the original example. Dec 31, 2020 at 6:55
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I would not use "however" at the start of a sentence, anymore than I would use "and" or "but" at the start of a sentence. Additionally, "however" is used far too much in places where "but" would be more appropriate.

I would write your sentence like this:

I've asked this question using many platforms and tend to get conflicting answers. I believe, however, that the users of StackExchange will provide a trustworthy answer.


There are lots of sites on the internet (example) that will tell you it is fine to start a sentence with "and" or "but." They aren't wrong, but they don't go into enough about when it is appropriate.

In general, if you start a sentence with one of those words, then you are continuing the thought of the previous sentence. Putting a period and the the conjunction breaks that thought - it is abrupt and jarring. Rewrite your sentence so that both parts flow together.

The site I linked to includes examples from famous people (John F. Kennedy, Oscar Wilde, and Groucho Marx) using "and" and "but" at the beginning of sentences. That's fine for a specific emphasis for a specific purpose. Most writing doesn't need that, though. Oscar Wilde is playing with grammar and punctuation - playing puns with punctuation, of a sort. Groucho Marx is doing something similar. As for Kennedy, that was part of a speech where he made several points in succession, and used "and" to emphasize the final point.

Is your writing on a level with Oscar Wilde, Groucho Marx, or John F. Kennedy? Are the points you make important enough that only a full stop in the middle of the thought is sufficient to emphasize it? Probably not.

Don't use "and," or "but", or "or," or "however" at the start of a sentence unless you are really, really sure that only that will do - and even then you will probably be wrong.

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You could combine the two sentences, by writing:

I've asked this question using many platforms and tend to get conflicting answers, however, I believe the users of StackExchange will provide a trustworthy answer.

This would not be incorrect. However, I believe that t0he two-sentence version is stronger and better writing. In this form, "however" would be followed by a comma. In the one-sentence form, "however" would be both preceded and followed by commas. A semi-colon would be tempting here, but not correct.

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    Do you have any evidence for this? I would say that the one-sentence version requires a semi-colon after 'answers'. Nov 21, 2020 at 20:22
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    I agree with the above comment, you have no evidence to support your reasoning which leads me to believe your argument is untrue. Dec 30, 2020 at 16:44

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