how [ hau ] function word ***
How can be used in the following ways:
as an adverb (introducing a direct or indirect question):
How do you spell your last name?
I don't know how the system works. (introducing an EXCLAMATION):
How I hate the winter! (followed by an adjective or adverb):
How old is Peter?
I didn't realize how smart she was.
It's surprising how quickly the weather can change. (before much, many, few, or little ):
How much do you earn? (introducing a clause that is the subject, object, or COMPLEMENT of another clause):
How I spend my free time is a private matter.
as a conjunction (connecting two clauses):
You can live your life how you want.
1. ) in what way
a ) used for asking or talking about the method of doing something:
How can I get from here to the Empire State Building?
We have to get out of this place. Yes, but how?
Louis is the only person who understands how the system works.
How they ever made a profit is an absolute mystery.
how to do something: Would you show me how to send an e-mail?
b ) used for asking or talking about the way someone behaves or the way something happens:
Just tell me how the story ends.
How did she react when you mentioned my name?
c ) used for asking or talking about the way in which one thing is different from or similar to another:
How does the new program differ from the old one?
I don't see how this crisis is any worse than the one we had last year.
d ) INFORMAL in whatever way:
Now that I've left school I can dress how I want.
e ) used for asking or talking about the way someone or something looks or sounds:
How do you like your coffee? Just a little milk, please.
Cut her hair short if that's how she wants it.
How you look is not so important in radio broadcasting.
I hate how my voice sounds on tape.
2. ) used for talking about quantity or degree
a ) used for asking or saying what quantity, distance, age, etc. something is, or to what degree something is true:
How old is your sister?
I wonder how far we've walked today.
I soon realized how difficult my job was going to be.
how much/many: I know how much time is wasted on unnecessary tasks.
How many grandchildren do you have now?
b ) how much is/are...? used for asking the price of something:
How much was that CD player of yours?
3. ) used for asking whether something is good
a ) used for asking what someone thinks about an experience:
How's life in the army?
How was school today?
how did something go: How did your driving test go?
b ) how is someone (doing)? SPOKEN used for asking about someone's health:
How's your father doing? Is he feeling any better?
c ) how are things/how's it going?/how are you doing? SPOKEN used for asking someone about their progress or their general situation:
How are you doing, Bill? Oh, pretty well.
How are things? Oh, about the same as usual.
4. ) used for emphasis
a ) used for emphasizing a particular fact or quality:
I was amazed at just how easy it is to shop on the Internet.
You know how much I love you.
How wonderful! This means we can all travel together.
How kind of you to say all those nice things about me!
b ) and how SPOKEN used for emphasizing that what has just been said is true to a very great degree. This is often used for showing that you do not approve of something:
Cindy seems to have a problem with men. And how!
5. ) used for introducing a fact used for referring to a particular fact that you want to mention:
I remember how they used to have those huge roaring fires in the winter.
Isn't it strange how no one ever mentions his name nowadays?
how about...? SPOKEN
1. ) used for suggesting what someone may like to do or choose, or a time or place that may be appropriate:
How about dinner tonight?
How about Friday evening? Would that be convenient?
how about doing something?: How about joining us for a game of bridge?
2. ) used for asking about another person or thing, in addition to the ones that have already been mentioned:
How about Philip? Is he coming too?
I'm having coffee. How about you?
3. ) used for asking about another aspect of the situation that you have started to discuss:
How about computer skills? Have you had any special training?
how about that?/how do you like that? SPOKEN
used when you are referring to something that is very surprising, annoying, or exciting:
So I'm going to be your new boss. How about that?
how can/could someone (do something)? SPOKEN
used for saying that you think someone's behavior is very surprising or very bad:
How can anyone believe such nonsense?
How could you be so cruel?
how come? SPOKEN
used when you want to know why something has happened or why a particular situation exists:
How come you're not at work today?
how do you do? SPOKEN FORMAL
used as a polite greeting when you meet someone for the first time, especially when they have introduced themselves or have been introduced
how do you mean? SPOKEN
used for asking someone to explain what they have just said by giving you more details:
Everything's backward. How do you mean, backward?
how so?/how's that? SPOKEN
used for asking someone to explain the reason for the statement they have just made:
If the dam is built, a lot of people will suffer. How so?
how's that for...? SPOKEN
used for asking someone to notice an example of a particular quality:
The papers are all here ready for you to sign. How's that for efficiency?

Usage of the words and phrases in modern English. 2013.


Look at other dictionaries:

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