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  1. #11
    lucyarliwu Guest

    Re: A grammar question...

    Quote Originally Posted by RonBee

    I would say "How much do a hamburger and a hot dog cost?" just the same as I would say "How much do they cost?" Sorry to be disagreeable. :wink:

    The other sentences are, IMO, perfectly fine. I judge them as being equivalent to "What is the cost of a hamburger and a hot dog?" with "cost" being the object of "is".

    8)
    So may I make it into two alternatives?

    #1 "How much do a hamburger and a hot dog cost?"
    Here I might just want to know the sumup of two things together,
    without caring about the price for each item;

    #2" What's the cost of a hamburger and a hot dog?"
    In this case, I want to know each price for each item individually,
    for I can caculate the sumup myself.

  2. #12
    lucyarliwu Guest

    Re: A grammar question...

    Quote Originally Posted by RonBee

    I would say "How much do a hamburger and a hot dog cost?" just the same as I would say "How much do they cost?" Sorry to be disagreeable. :wink:

    The other sentences are, IMO, perfectly fine. I judge themn as being equivalent to "What is the cost of a hamburger and a hot dog?" with "cost" being the object of "is".

    8)
    So may I make it into two alternatives?

    #1 "How much do a hamburger and a hot dog cost?"
    Here I might just want to know the sumup of two things together,
    without caring about the price for each item;

    #2" What's the cost of a hamburber and a hot dog?"
    In this case, I want to know each price for each item individually,
    for I can caculate the sumup myself.

  3. #13
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    Re: A grammar question...

    Quote Originally Posted by RonBee

    I would say "How much do a hamburger and a hot dog cost?" just the same as I would say "How much do they cost?" Sorry to be disagreeable. :wink:

    The other sentences are, IMO, perfectly fine. I judge them as being equivalent to "What is the cost of a hamburger and a hot dog?" with "cost" being the object of "is".

    8)
    Quote Originally Posted by lucyarliwu
    So may I make it into two alternatives?

    #1 "How much do a hamburger and a hot dog cost?"
    Here I might just want to know the sumup of two things together,
    without caring about the price for each item;
    Exactly!

    Quote Originally Posted by lucyarliwu
    #2" What's the cost of a hamburger and a hot dog?"
    In this case, I want to know each price for each item individually,
    for I can caculate the sumup myself.
    Actually, I see that one as being the same as the first one. The person is asking for the combined price of the two items. If she were asking the price of a hamburger she would simply say, "How much for a hamburger?"

    8)

  4. #14
    lucyarliwu Guest

    Re: A grammar question...

    Quote Originally Posted by RonBee

    Quote Originally Posted by lucyarliwu
    #2" What's the cost of a hamburger and a hot dog?"
    In this case, I want to know each price for each item individually,
    for I can caculate the sumup myself.
    Actually, I see that one as being the same as the first one. The person is asking for the combined price of the two items. If she were asking the price of a hamburger she would simply say, "How much for a hamburger?"

    8)
    What about " What's the cost of a hamburger and of a hot dog?"
    And the same to 'how much' in " how much for a hamburger and for a hot dog?"
    Maybe we just need to add some preposition in the vague sentence?

  5. #15
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    Re: A grammar question...

    Quote Originally Posted by lucyarliwu
    What about " What's the cost of a hamburger and of a hot dog?"
    And the same to 'how much' in " how much for a hamburger and for a hot dog?"
    Maybe we just need to add some preposition in the vague sentence?
    In both of your sample sentences the person is asking for the price of the two items combined. If you want to know the price of just one of them, you should ask for that separately. Otherwise, it might not be clear that that is what you want.

    8)

  6. #16
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    What's the cost of a hamburger and that of a hot dog?

    That would make it clear that you wanted them separately.

  7. #17
    lucyarliwu Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    What's the cost of a hamburger and that of a hot dog?

    That would make it clear that you wanted them separately.
    OK, good idea!
    :)

  8. #18
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Although, I wouldn't want either of them ;)

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