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Thread: im confused

  1. #1
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    Exclamation will you also find this difficult to explain?

    i want you guys to enlighten me about this;
    in the market if i want to buy something i ask
    'how much is it?'
    then i encountered a test question like this-
    how much ___ it cost to send a letter in Canada?
    i would have answered 'is' to it but it sounded inappropriate. i thought 'does' is much appropriate- but i dont know why. anybody care to explain?
    Last edited by jasirah; 12-Feb-2006 at 09:05. Reason: no one is answering my querry

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: will you also find this difficult to explain?


  3. #3
    rhapsomatrics is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: will you also find this difficult to explain?




    In addition to the help link provided,I think I have a couple of things to say which I opine would be of help.There are two words that are often confused...cost and worth....The word "cost" has the capacity to function either as a noun or a verb.If it functions as a verb,it may take the "be" auxilliary,in most cases for emphasis...It cost us a hundred dollars(simple past)...it costs us a hundred dollars(simple present).Therefore,if a question is to be asked,it could engender from the auxilliary..."how much does it cost"(simple present)..."how much did it cost"(simple past).
    However,the word "worth" cannot function as a verb(though it may function as a noun).This is exactly why "worth" cannot take "do/does"..instead it takes "is/am/are/was etc...
    "How much does it cost"
    "How much is it worth"



    Hope you find it helpful.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: will you also find this difficult to explain?

    In other words, if it's a verb use DO-insertion (i.e., do or does); if it's not a verb use BE (e.g., is, am, are, was, were):

    VERB: It costs $4. => What does it cost?
    NOT A VERB: The cost is $4. => What is the cost?
    NON A VERB: It is worth $4. => What is its worth?

    The Verb BE:
    Statement: It is $4.
    Question: It is how much?
    Inversion: How much is it?

    The Verb COST:
    Statement: It costs $4.
    Question: It costs how much? *Note, "costs" is a verb.
    Inversion: How much does it cost?
    Replacement: How much is it? *Note, "is" replaces the verb "costs".

    As for our example sentence, "costs" is a verb, so insert DO:

    Statement: It costs $2 to send a letter to Canada.
    Question: It costs how much to send a letter to Canada?
    Inversion: How much does it cost to send a letter to Canada?

    Hope that helps.

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