16.7.4 Comunque = anyway, though, however, in any case, at least

In a dictionary you will find a lot of different translations for comunque: anyway, though, however, in any case, at least. That's a little bit strange, because there are subtle differences in meaning. In other words it must be deduced from the context which translation fits the best.

a) He told it to me anyway.
  b) He told it to me however.
  c) At least he told it to me.
  d) In any case he told it to me.

All these sentences are adverbs. In the sentences above that's easy to see. If there is no subordinate clause at all it is hard to imagine that anyway, however, at least, etc. introduce a subordinate clause.

Used as conjunctions things are more complicated. Concerning the learning of a language it doesn't have any relevance whether you are able to distinguish an adverb from a conjunction, but the exlication below is not really convincing.

"Comunque è stato classificato come congiunzione quando regge il congiuntivo (es. Comunque vadano le cose, a Luglio partiremo), e quando ha valore avversativo nel senso di tuttavia (es. È stata una cena improvvisata, comunque potevi avvisarmi lo stesso), come avverbio quando ha il senso di in ogni modo (es. Vorrei che venissi a trovarmi comunque, Comunque io stasera non vengo)."
Comunque has been classified as a conjunction if used with the congiuntivo (example However matters stands, we will go in july) and if it has an adversative meaning, in the sense of nevertheless (example It was a dinner organized shortly before nevertheless you could have informed me). Comunque is classified as an adverb in the meaning of anyway (example I would like you to pick me up anyway but I am not going to come this evening).


We are not informed why an adverb becomes a conjunction if it is used with the congiuntivo. A much easier explanation would be this one. An adverb can be omitted without altering the meaning of a sentence. Some information will get lost, but the remaining sentence is grammatically correct and has a meaning.

He told it to me.
He told it to me anyway.

A conjunction can't be omitted. The result would be a sentence with no / unclear meaning and grammatically incorrect.

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