Words like although and however play a very effective role in forming complicated and complex sentences. But many people often confuse the meaning or usage of the two words and think of them as usable interchangeably, which is not the case.
It is true that both words are used when one tries to show a contrast between two ideas. That means both are words that indicate an idea of contrast in a sentence. But there is an important difference between the two regarding their nature and structure. While although is a subordinating conjunction, however is a conjunctive adverb.
Although vs However
Although is a subordinating conjunction, which joins an independent clause to a dependent one. It has a meaning that shows in spite of something or a fact, something opposite to the primary idea. It is usually used at the beginning of a sentence and accompanied by a comma in the middle.
- Although I was late, they allowed me to stay.
On the other hand, however is a conjunctive adverb that unlike although joins two independent clauses together. But their meaning remains the same. “However” also tries to contrast of ideas. The main difference is that, with “however”, we join two clauses that have a period between them. “However” follows after that full stop and is accompanied by an immediate comma.
- She was sick. However, she attended the party the entire night.
- Although she was sick, she attended the party the entire night.
So, there is the basic difference. Both have the same meanings but are different in nature.