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Thread: how and what

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    #1

    how and what

    s1. To show what ancient living things looked like, many museums display fossils.

    s2. Geographers might want to know how Boston, Massachusetts, looked during the colonial years.

    Hello.
    I would like to know the difference between how and what .
    I have seen sentences like s1.(what ... look like)
    But I saw s2.
    If s2 is grammatically correct, s1 can be transformed like "To show how ancient living things looked, ~"
    Likewise, s2 can be turned into "~ what Boston, Massachusetts, looked like during ~."

    Are there any differences in meaning or are they grammatically correct?
    Thanks in advance.

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: how and what

    Quote Originally Posted by pseudo View Post
    s1. To show what ancient living things looked like, many museums display fossils.

    s2. Geographers might want to know how Boston, Massachusetts, looked during the colonial years.

    Hello.
    I would like to know the difference between how and what .
    I have seen sentences like s1.(what ... look like)
    But I saw s2.
    If s2 is grammatically correct, s1 can be transformed like "To show how ancient living things looked, ~"
    Likewise, s2 can be turned into "~ what Boston, Massachusetts, looked like during ~."

    Are there any differences in meaning or are they grammatically correct?
    Thanks in advance.
    Both sentences are correct. if you want to change them, you need to preserve "how XXX looked" and "what XXX looked like".

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: how and what

    You can replace "what ancient things looked like" with "how ancient things looked", yes. Note that if you use "how", you don't use "like".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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