Please consider the following sentence:

Once the people are disillusioned by blatant mischief-making, it becomes increasingly difficult to dazzle them, however impressive the lies.

1. What is the element "however impressive the lies" called in grammatical term?

2. Does "however" in the sentence function as a conjunction?

3. Can the element in (1) be moved around in the sentence?

I'm sorry that I may ask too many questions but this construction is interesting.
Last edited {1}
Original Post
1. "However impressive the lies" is an adverbial phrase.

2. "However" is an adverb here, modifying the adjective "impressive." One meaning of "however" is: "To whatever degree or extent: "have begun, however reluctantly, to acknowledge the legitimacy of some of the concerns" *

3. In this particular sentence, it seems awkward to move the element to another place. There is another adverbial – an adverbial clause -- at the beginning of the sentence which seems to introduce the sentence appropriately.

It would be possible, though, to reverse the adverbials so that the sentence would be: " However impressive the lies, it becomes increasingly difficult to dazzle the people once they are disillusioned by blatant mischief-making."

Rachel
_______
* The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition Houghton Mifflin Company 2003.

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