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According to ALC ともあれ とかく they look pretty similar and express "anyway, anyhow". I came across the following excercise where you need to choose between those two:

結果はどうかわからないがともあれ・ともすれば・とかく・なお試験は終わった。

Apparently the right answer is ともあれ

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I'm confused. Why did you include ともすれば and なお? Are you wanting to know how those relate too, or just ともあれ and とかく? –  istrasci Oct 30 '12 at 14:38
    
@istrasci: No, just the difference between ともあれ and とかく. The other two are there just because they were a part of the excercise. –  Oleg Levy Oct 30 '12 at 15:22
    
Is とかく related to ともかく? I haven't actually heard the former before. –  rintaun Nov 26 '12 at 20:03

1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

You are probably confusing とかく and とにかく. ともあれ and とにかくare in fact quite close in their meaning. They are both used to carry the conversation forward, like below:

結果はどうかわからないが、ともあれ試験は終わった
結果はどうかわからないが、とにかく試験は終わった

Both roughly mean "I don't know what the results will be, but the exam itself has finished". Both imply that the speaker had underwent some hassle, but that that hassle has now finished. Another examples:

渋滞で大変だったが、ともあれ首都圏からは出た
渋滞で大変だったが、とにかく首都圏からは出た

とかく is quite different though and means that something has a strong (excessive) tendency to do something. For example,

アメリカ人はとかく炭酸飲料を飲む
あの子はとかく悲観的になりやすい
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