The word "how" is used to form questions for distance, size, amount, number, age, cost, and quality.

  • How big is their house? (size)
  • How small is the crack? (size)
  • How far is it to the next town? (distance)
  • How many miles is it to Chicago? (number)
  • How much money do you have in your pocket? (amount)
  • How old is she? (age)
  • How much did you pay for that jacket? (cost)
  • How expensive was it? (cost)
  • How good is it? (quality)
  • How long will it last? (quality)

People use "how" when talking about skills and abilities:

  • Do you know how to fix brakes on a bike?
  • Terry knows how to speak French.
  • This is how to form a C chord on a guitar.
  • That’s not how to do it. You’re doing it wrong.
  • Let me show you how.
  • I’ll explain how.

guitarist He knows how to play guitar.

Use "how" when asking about a method or when asking for help with something:

  • How do I open this?
  • How do I turn this on?
  • How does this work?
  • How do I do this?
  • How can I improve my English skills?
  • How do you change the oil on this car? (When using "how do you," the "you" in the question can refer to anyone–not just the person you are speaking to.)

The word "how" is also used at the beginning of a noun clause:

  • I don’t like how they made this sandwich.
  • He loves how she speaks Spanish.
  • You can’t imagine how much this hurts.
  • They don’t know how he feels.
  • How she paints is interesting.
  • How you lead your life is your decision.

You can use "how about" when offering something or making a suggestion. Notice that these examples do not contain verbs:

  • How about some coffee?
  • How about getting some pizza?
  • How about not doing that.
  • How about a ride on my motorcycle?
  • How about a coke?

You can also use "how" when asking for another person’s opinion:

  • How does this look?
  • How does it taste?
  • How was the concert?
  • How did you like the movie?
  • How do you like your new apartment?

Sometimes American use "how" in an exclamation. In this case, the word "how" is similar to the word "very,"

  • How nice!
  • How beautiful!
  • How interesting!
  • How boring.
  • How cool!

Finally, many people use "how" when greeting each other.

  • How’s it going?
  • How are you doing?
  • How are you?

Click here for more English vocabulary.

November 23, 2019