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    • Join Date: Jan 2008
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    #1

    Smile I don't know how to describe it

    Hi,inspite of saying I don't know how to describe it can I say I don't know can I describe it ? Thanks


    • Join Date: Apr 2008
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    #2

    Re: I don't know how to describe it

    Quote Originally Posted by franklin xia View Post
    Hi,inspite of saying I don't know how to describe it can I say I don't know can I describe it ? Thanks
    No, you can't. You can say:
    I don't know how I can describe it.

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    • Join Date: May 2008
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    #3

    Re: I don't know how to describe it

    Quote Originally Posted by franklin xia View Post
    Hi,inspite of saying I don't know how to describe it can I say I don't know can I describe it ? Thanks
    Do you mean instead of ?
    No. You can not say,"I don't know can I..
    I don't know how to describe it./Iam unable to describe it./...how I can describeit.
    Regards,
    ,rj1948.

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    • Join Date: Jun 2006
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    #4

    Re: I don't know how to describe it

    The title of the thread is still the best.


    • Join Date: Feb 2008
    • Posts: 484
    #5

    Re: I don't know how to describe it

    Quote Originally Posted by franklin xia View Post
    Hi,inspite of saying I don't know how to describe it can I say I don't know can I describe it ? Thanks
    When the question (How can I describe it?) is part of a bigger sentence (I don't know.... ) it loses the normal question word order:
    How can I describe it?
    I don't know how I can describe it.

    But, as Tedmc says: The title of the thread is still the best.

  1. Kraken's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2006
    • Posts: 333
    #6

    Re: I don't know how to describe it

    I am not a teacher.
    Many of us foreigners tend to make the same mistake.

    Affirmative: I can describe it.
    Interrogative: Can I describe it? (Mind the word order now)

    Now, sometimes we bring up the interrogative form by altering the order.

    *"I don't know how can I describe it". It is not a question, so the sentence should read:
    "I don't know how I can describe it.

    The same happens in reported speech.

    *"She asked me how could I do it" instead of
    "She asked me how I could do it"



    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 4
    #7

    Re: I don't know how to describe it

    Consider using the word "articulate", as in, "I cannot articulate the idea."

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