Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Nonetheless and Nevertheless

english-dictionary-pdNonetheless vs. Nevertheless

The terms ‘Nonetheless’ and ‘Nevertheless’ implicate the same meaning. However, the usage of both words is drastically different owing to the sentiments of the people. According to the general consensus, people like using the word ‘nevertheless’ instead of ‘nonetheless’ simply because one sounds better than the other. The significance and impact of both words really depend upon human psychology. According to Google statistics, approximately 130 million people use the word ‘nevertheless’ and 70 million people use the word ‘nonetheless’.

When you break the word ‘nonetheless’ into individual terms, it says ‘none-the-less’. It involves the use of the word ‘none’ that is considered as both a noun and an adverb. The word ‘none’ is used more as a noun than as an adverb. However, while trying to compare two different things and estimating the result, a lot of people feel uncomfortable using a noun-based word to signify an adverb. This can be proven by the fact that 28,100,000 pages can be found where ‘nonetheless’ is given as the input query, whereas as many as 89,300,000 pages are found where the term ‘nevertheless’ is given as the input query.

Delving deep into the history or the origins of both the terms, the usage of the term ‘nevertheless’ was noticed from as early as the 14th century, whereas the term ‘nonetheless’ came into existence later in the 16th century. Moreover, when looking into the quality of the two terms, ‘nonetheless’ sounds tangible, whereas ‘nevertheless’ sounds temporal.

Etymologically, the word ‘nonetheless’ sounds pretty close to ‘anyways’. This can be seen in the following sentence: ‘I cannot accept the ride, but thank you nonetheless.’ It simply means that I do not need any ride; anyways I am thankful that you asked me, although I do not need to thank you!

However, when talking about the present day scenario regarding the usage of the two terms, they are purely used in a formal written set up. The words ‘nonetheless’ and ‘nevertheless’ are hardly used in day to day communication. Both of these words have been largely replaced by the term ‘however’.

Yet another difference between the terms is that ‘nevertheless’ is often used in an active voice, and ‘nonetheless’ is used in the passive voice.

In summary, the following are the differences between ‘nonetheless’ and ‘nevertheless’.

1. ‘Nonetheless’ is less frequently used when compared to ‘nevertheless’.

2. ‘Nonetheless’ provides a tangible sense to the sentence structure, whereas ‘nevertheless’ provides a temporal sense to the sentence structure.

3. The word ‘nevertheless’ appeared earlier in history than the word ‘nonetheless’.

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  1. Let’s compare:

    “I cannot accept the ride, but thank you nonetheless.”

    “I cannot accept the ride, but thank you nevertheless.”

    If: nonetheless implies that I am thanking you for asking, rather than for the actual ride offered

    does: nevertheless imply that I am thanking for a ride that I need and can’t accept?

  2. Thank you for the article. Nevertheless, I’m more confused than ever.

  3. As with a lot of things, this is a case of “they’re basically the same.” Trying to explain a difference to students would be splitting hairs and would make them more confused.

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