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  1. #1
    wotcha's Avatar
    wotcha is offline Senior Member
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    Default How about ~ / What about

    There are more than a couple of ways to make a suggestion, such as

    1) How about going on a picnic?

    2) Shall we/you go on a picnic?

    3) Why don't we/you go on a picnic?

    4) Would you like to go on a picnic?

    5) What about going on a picnic?

    What I'm wondering are

    - Can 4) be normally used in this case? - I mean when the speaker wants to go on a picnic with the listener.

    - Does 5) have exactly the same meaning with 1) ?

  2. #2
    English Freak's Avatar
    English Freak is offline Member
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    Default Re: How about ~ / What about

    Quote Originally Posted by wotcha View Post
    There are more than a couple of ways to make a suggestion, such as

    1) How about going on a picnic?

    2) Shall we go on a picnic? I've never heard "Shall you ..." to make suggestions. Native speakers should confirm.

    3) Why don't we go on a picnic? I've never heard "Whay don't you ..." to make suggestions. Native speakers should confirm.

    4) Would you like to go on a picnic?

    5) What about going on a picnic?

    What I'm wondering are

    - Can 4) be normally used in this case? - I mean when the speaker wants to go on a picnic with the listener. Normally no. Not usually used to make suggestions (when the speaker and the listener want to do sth at the same time)

    - Does 5) have exactly the same meaning as 1) Yes, the same. ?
    EF

  3. #3
    JohnParis's Avatar
    JohnParis is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: How about ~ / What about

    Quote Originally Posted by wotcha View Post

    What I'm wondering are

    - Can 4) be normally used in this case? - I mean when the speaker wants to go on a picnic with the listener. Sure - it's a good sentence.

    - Does 5) have exactly the same meaning with 1) They are extremely close in meaning and most would say that you could use them interchangeably. To me, and in my opinion only, "How about going" seems like a suggestion made for an event the speaker would like to have happen right away. "What about going" seems like a suggestion over a longer time frame.
    "I'm bored. How about going on a picnic?" compared with "I don't know what to do with our friends from New York next weekend. Well, what about going on a picnic?" My preference is strictly personal and I am nearly certain that there is no rule. "How about" also feels less formal to me.
    John

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