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Thread: how

  1. #1
    allthewayanime is offline Member
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    Default how

    I would like to know if 'how' is compulsory after verbs like teach,learn etc

    e.g. I'll teach you how to swim.
    or

    I'll teach you to swim.

  2. #2
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: how

    I don't see any signficant difference, but just "to swim" seems more natural to me.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  3. #3
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: how

    Quote Originally Posted by allthewayanime View Post
    I would like to know if 'how' is compulsory after verbs like teach,learn etc

    e.g. I'll teach you how to swim.
    or

    I'll teach you to swim.
    There are uses of 'teach' and 'learn' in which 'how' is not used.
    Mother to daughter: "I'll teach you to answer back young lady!"
    "You need to learn to smile more."
    ...

  4. #4
    TheParser is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: how

    [QUOTE=allthewayanime;833869]I would like to know if 'how' is compulsory after verbs like learn


    NOT A TEACHER


    (1) One expert says absolutely NO.

    (2) That expert says that you may NOT use "how" if you are referring to the idea "of learning

    from experience."

    (a) The expert's example:

    "We soon learnt [learned] to do as we were told in Mr. Spinks'[s] class! [ My note: We students thought that we could play in his class, but he soon showed us that he would not tolerate bad behavior.]

    (b) My (bad) example:

    Mr. Smith used to accept checks and credit cards at his little business, but he soon

    learned to accept only cash (because so many people were giving him bad checks

    and stolen credit cards).


    Source: Mr. L.G. Alexander, Longman English Grammar (Longman: London and New York, 1988), page 307.

  5. #5
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: how

    If someone teaches you how to do something, or you learn how to do it, you learn a way of doing it:

    When my wife left me, I very soon learnt how to look after a young family and hold down a full-time job..

    If somebody teaches you how to do something, or you learn how to do it, then the result is more important than the process:

    There was no public transport system in our town, so everybody learnt to drive as soon as they reached seventeen.

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