# Thread: Can we say how many pens in your pencil box

1. ## Can we say how many pens in your pencil box

I've got two pencils, two ball-point pens and one pen in my pencil-box.

If the above sentence is "answer".

Could you tell me the "question" may be?

Can we ask "how many pens in your pencil box? "

or say "how many pencils in your pencil box?"

(In Chinese language ,pen means a lot ,includes ball pen,pen, pencil---etc.)

2. ## Re: Can we say how many pens in your pencil box

Can we say : Which pens do you have in your pencil box?
I'm asking, too. . Because I think the answer have many kinds of pens.

3. ## Re: Can we say how many pens in your pencil box

A: What have you got in your pencil box?
B: I've got two pencils, two ball-point pens and one pen in my pencil-box.

4. ## Re: Can we say how many pens in your pencil box

Originally Posted by tien-sung
"how many pens in your pencil box? "
The correct way of saying this is, "How many pens are there/have you got in your pencil box?"

5. ## Re: Can we say how many pens in your pencil box

How many pens are there/have you got in your pencil box.

But,why you use "pens"?

Can we use "pencils" OR "ball-pens" etc. ?

(In Chince language, when we say "pen", it's meaning includes all

kind tools you can write or draw. )

Thank you.

Tien-sung( TAIWAN)

6. ## Re: Can we say how many pens in your pencil box

What is the difference between a pen and a ball-point pen?

7. ## Re: Can we say how many pens in your pencil box

Maybe they've got a fountain pen in there.

8. ## Re: Can we say how many pens in your pencil box

In English the words are very distinct so we would say "how many pens and pencils have you...?"

If you ask only "how many pens...?" then the respondent might tell you how many pens, but not how many pencils, crayons etc.

You could ask "how many writing implements have you?"
This includes everything and makes the meaning crystal clear.
However, it's not the sort of thing a school child would say and it sounds a little odd, even for an adult!

9. ## Re: Can we say how many pens in your pencil box

In BrE, I suspect we would also call it a pencil case not a pencil box more naturally. Pencil box is perfectly understandable, however.

10. ## Re: Can we say how many pens in your pencil box

Good point but, when I was at school, I had a wooden pencil box. I suspect these are found only in museums nowadays!

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