Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: How to...?

  1. #1
    shane is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    519
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default How to...?

    Since I arrived in China, I've heard many students begin a question using 'How to', for example:

    'How to spell this word?'
    'How to write...?'

    It always seemed a strange way of beginning a sentence to me, as I don't remember hearing it when in the UK. I always heard:

    'How do you spell this word?'
    'How do you write...?'

    Am I going crazy? Is beginning a question with 'How to' ungrammatical?

    Sorry for asking what seems such a simple question! :)

  2. #2
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    16,571
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    It's not idiomatic English. I would also say that "How to spell this word?" is ungrammatical. It's certainly not a sentence.

    :)

  3. #3
    shane is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    519
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RonBee
    It's not idiomatic English. I would also say that "How to spell this word?" is ungrammatical. It's certainly not a sentence.

    :)
    Cheers RonBee, I'm glad I'm not going mad! :D

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Philippines
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    43,077
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I've always thought 'How can I spell...' a touch strange.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •