i want you guys to enlighten me about this;
in the market if i want to buy something i ask
'how much is it?'
then i encountered a test question like this-
how much ___ it cost to send a letter in Canada?
i would have answered 'is' to it but it sounded inappropriate. i thought 'does' is much appropriate- but i dont know why. anybody care to explain?
Last edited by jasirah; 12-Feb-2006 at 10:05. Reason: no one is answering my querry
Originally Posted by tdol
In addition to the help link provided,I think I have a couple of things to say which I opine would be of help.There are two words that are often confused...cost and worth....The word "cost" has the capacity to function either as a noun or a verb.If it functions as a verb,it may take the "be" auxilliary,in most cases for emphasis...It cost us a hundred dollars(simple past)...it costs us a hundred dollars(simple present).Therefore,if a question is to be asked,it could engender from the auxilliary..."how much does it cost"(simple present)..."how much did it cost"(simple past).
However,the word "worth" cannot function as a verb(though it may function as a noun).This is exactly why "worth" cannot take "do/does"..instead it takes "is/am/are/was etc...
"How much does it cost"
"How much is it worth"
Hope you find it helpful.
In other words, if it's a verb use DO-insertion (i.e., do or does); if it's not a verb use BE (e.g., is, am, are, was, were):
VERB: It costs $4. => What does it cost?
NOT A VERB: The cost is $4. => What is the cost?
NON A VERB: It is worth $4. => What is its worth?
The Verb BE:
Statement: It is $4.
Question: It is how much?
Inversion: How much is it?
The Verb COST:
Statement: It costs $4.
Question: It costs how much? *Note, "costs" is a verb.
Inversion: How much does it cost?
Replacement: How much is it? *Note, "is" replaces the verb "costs".
As for our example sentence, "costs" is a verb, so insert DO:
Statement: It costs $2 to send a letter to Canada.
Question: It costs how much to send a letter to Canada?
Inversion: How much does it cost to send a letter to Canada?
Hope that helps.