Difference Between Nonetheless and Nevertheless

Adverbs are words that act as adjectives for verbs. They modify or qualify other verbs or adverbs.

Nonetheless and nevertheless are two such adverbs. Nonetheless means ‘in spite of’ and nevertheless also means the same thing.

Nonetheless vs Nevertheless

The difference between nonetheless and nevertheless is in their usage. Nonetheless is used to indicate something that can be measurably quantified, while nevertheless is used in reference to a situation that either has, is or might occur. They both are synonymous to each other but their usage in sentences is different.

Nonetheless vs Nevertheless

Nonetheless and nevertheless aren’t used much nowadays but they sound more formal than ‘however’ or ‘anyways’. Although they aren’t used all that much anymore, it comes in handy to know about its usage.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonNonethelessNevertheless
Context of UsageNonetheless is used in reference to something that can be measured.Nevertheless is used to indicate a situation that has or may occur.
Voice of SpeechUsed more in the passive voice.Used more in the active voice.
OriginCame in usage centuries after nevertheless started being used, around the 16th century.Came in usage around the 14th century.
Frequency of UsageUsed less frequently.Used more frequently.
Indication of ChanceProvides a tangible sense to the sentence.Provides a temporal sense to the sentence.

What is Nonetheless?

Nonetheless is an adverb used in the English language that means ‘despite’. There are several synonyms to the words like ‘nevertheless’, ‘even so’, ‘however’, etc.

For example: ” She was tired, nonetheless she decided to go to work.” The sentence tells us about the situation that the subject does something despite feeling the opposite.

Nonetheless is usually used when conversing formally. It is a compound word that is a combination of three words; none, the and less.

When one uses the word nonetheless, there are chances that the situation they are referring to, might still be carried out.

For example: “She was scared. Nonetheless, she decided to open the door.” This sentence shows that even though there was a chance that the subject could have chosen not to carry out a particular action, they decided otherwise and did it anyway.

What is Nevertheless?

Nevertheless is also an adverb. It means ‘all the same or notwithstanding’. 

For example: “He retired from being a doctor in 1999. Nevertheless, he still saved lives until his death.” In this sentence, nevertheless is used to indicate the surprise at the turn of events.

Nevertheless is also used formally and is a compound word too. Nevertheless is used more often than nonetheless.

The word shows a finality in the sentence. It tells us that the situation in reference might never come around or happen. It is also used more negatively than nonetheless.

For example: “They knew the team would lose. Nevertheless, he placed a bet on that team and lost everything.” This sentence shows the finality of a situation where the subject is at a loss.

Main Differences Between Nonetheless and Nevertheless

  1. Nonetheless is used for some measurable quantity while nevertheless is used for situations that may or may not occur.
  2. Nonetheless is used more in passive voice whereas nevertheless is used more in the active voice.

References

  1. http://people.bu.edu/bfraser/CDM%20Papers/Blakemore%20-%20But%20Revisited%20-%20GURT%20paper.doc
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