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How & When Do You Use The Word ‘Notwithstanding’?

Have you ever encountered the word notwithstanding? You might think it looks like three separate words stuck together—not, with, and standing. But if you think about the definitions of those three words, the term doesn’t make any sense. What does it mean? How can you use it? Today’s blog explains it all to you. 

How & When Do You Use The Word ‘Notwithstanding’? | English Medium

Understanding Its Meaning

Notwithstanding means despite, nevertheless, however, or although. In modern English, this term is used most commonly as a preposition. It can also be used as a conjunction and adverb. 

Let us look at a few examples: 

  1. As a preposition:
    Notwithstanding his nervousness, the young man looked his interviewer directly in the eyes as he answered the questions.
  2. As a conjunction:
    Notwithstanding that he wasn’t qualified on paper, the interviewer recommended him for hire based on his great potential.
  3. As an adverb:
    Although he didn’t have a lot of experience, they decided to hire him notwithstanding .

Can You End A Sentence With ‘Notwithstanding’?

A common myth in the English language has been that you shouldn’t end a sentence with a preposition. But we’ve long busted it. The same applies to this word. You can easily end sentences with it. But where this word appears in a sentence depends on which part of speech it is acting as. If it is a preposition, it usually appears in the beginning of the sentence. As a conjunction it appears in the middle, as most other conjunctions. And if it is an adverb, then it appears at the end of the sentence. The English language as of today has no rule against ending sentences with adverbs. Take a look at these examples: 

  1. He didn’t have time to review her resume. He hired her, notwithstanding. 
  2. I didn’t like it. I remained calm, notwithstanding.

Common Expressions

The word often appears in certain expressions.

  • “Notwithstanding the foregoing” means “in spite of the things previously mentioned or written.”
  • “Notwithstanding anything to the contrary” is legal language that declares that a clause supersedes anything forthcoming that might contradict it.

Conclusion

Some words are hard to grasp at first, but they’re genuinely useful when you get to know them. Notwithstanding your first impressions of the word, we hope you’ll make this versatile word part of your vocabulary.

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