What's the difference between hoewel and alhoewel?

The conjunctions hoewel and alhoewel both can be translated to "although" or "even though" in English. However, in Dutch, there's a subtle distinction between them.


Hoewel is a standard conjunction used to introduce a contrasting clause.

Hoewel het regent, gaan we naar buiten. ("Although it's raining, we're going outside.")


Alhoewel serves the same function as hoewel, but it's considered slightly less formal and is less commonly used in written Dutch.

Alhoewel ik moe ben, blijf ik werken. ("Even though I'm tired, I keep working.")

Usage tips

Both words are interchangeable in most contexts. However, for formal writing, it might be better to stick with hoewel.

By discerning the slight difference between hoewel and alhoewel, you can ensure more nuanced expression in Dutch, tailoring your language to suit different contexts and audiences.