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  1. learning54's Avatar
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    #1

    'What are they called?' or 'How are they called?'

    Hi teachers,
    According to this sentence, 'People from New Zealand are sometimes called kiwis'.
    Which is the correct question based on 'kiwis'?
    a) What are people from New Zealand called?
    b) How are people from New Zealand called?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: 'What are they called?' or 'How are they called?'

    'What' - and don't forget a 'sometimes' in the question.

  3. BrunaBC's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: 'What are they called?' or 'How are they called?'

    I thought both ways were acceptable. Why can't I ask How are people from New Zealand sometimes called?

    Thank you.
    Not a teacher.

  4. 5jj's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: 'What are they called?' or 'How are they called?'

    Quote Originally Posted by BrunaBC View Post
    I thought both ways were acceptable. Why can't I ask How are people from New Zealand sometimes called?
    Because we normally ask what things and people are called.

  5. learning54's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: 'What are they called?' or 'How are they called?'

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    'What' - and don't forget a 'sometimes' in the question.
    Hi 5jj,
    Thank for you reply.
    So it should be, 'What are people from New Zealand sometimes called?'
    That's what I suspected. The thing is that I don't know why I can't use 'how'.
    Could you tell me why not?

  6. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: 'What are they called?' or 'How are they called?'

    Quote Originally Posted by learning54 View Post
    Hi 5jj,
    Thank for you reply.
    So it should be, 'What are people from New Zealand sometimes called?'
    That's what I suspected. The thing is that I don't know why I can't use 'how'.
    Could you tell me why not?
    What are they called? = What is their usual name?
    How are they called? = In what manner does one call them, what words, tone of voice etcetera, does one use?

  7. 5jj's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: 'What are they called?' or 'How are they called?'

    Because we normally ask what things and people are called.

  8. tzfujimino's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: 'What are they called?' or 'How are they called?'

    Quote Originally Posted by BrunaBC View Post
    I thought both ways were acceptable. Why can't I ask How are people from New Zealand sometimes called?

    Thank you.
    Hello!
    Let me try to explain it to you.

    This is an apple.
    Is this an apple?
    What is this?

    In the same way...

    The people are called kiwis
    Are the people called kiwis?
    What are the people called?

    Do you see what I mean?
    Both 'an apple' and 'kiwis' are 'nouns,' so we should use 'what.'
    'How' is an 'adverb.'

    I hope you can understand what I mean.
    I'm not a native speaker, so please wait for 5jj's response.

  9. BrunaBC's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: 'What are they called?' or 'How are they called?'

    Your explanation as well as Bhaisahab are ok. I see the difference. Both ways are possible, but with different meanings.

    I felt like in pre school again "
    This is an apple.
    Is this
    an apple?
    What is this?
    "
    Not a teacher.

  10. 5jj's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: 'What are they called?' or 'How are they called?'

    One of the problems for learners is that the equivalent expression in many languages uses the word for 'how'. Learners therefore use and hear it so often that it begins to sound natural to them.
    Last edited by 5jj; 23-May-2012 at 21:34. Reason: typo

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