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  1. Offroad's Avatar
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    #1

    Smile How come

    Please, dear teachers,

    I am trying to learn to use "how come", I've been searching the web (American and British corpus) and it seems to be related to surprise:

    How come you didn't come/show up on my birthday?
    How come this tornado did/made all that mess?
    How come it is so difficult to find out where the error is/comes from?


    Are those sentences fine?
    Is 'how come' always related to surprise?

    Thank you very much for commenting!


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    #2

    Re: How come

    It always implies an expression of some disbelief as well as surprise, and your sentences are fine.

  2. Offroad's Avatar
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    #3

    Smile Re: How come

    , " Bone told Nith. Gaunt said, " He says, how came you here! " For a time Nith's proud face looked shrunken.

    This sentence was taken from the American Corpus.

    He says, how came you here!
    He says, how could you be here!
    He says, how come you are here!


    Are those right? Do they mean the same?

    ... of Rosa I had already decided that I would do it. The how came soon after. I'd already started to grow my nails long. I dyed...

    What does "the how came soon after" mean?

    I thought I had got it straight, but I didn't.

    Thank you for the comments in advance!


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    #4

    Re: How come

    Quote Originally Posted by marciobarbalho View Post
    , " Bone told Nith. Gaunt said, " He says, how came you here! " For a time Nith's proud face looked shrunken.

    This sentence was taken from the American Corpus.

    He says, how came you here! Basically - how did you come here? - either physically or metaphorically.
    He says, how could you be here!
    He says, how come you are here!


    Are those right? Do they mean the same? No, not in the context as given.

    ... of Rosa I had already decided that I would do it. The how came soon after. I'd already started to grow my nails long. I dyed...

    What does "the how came soon after" mean? The "how" came .... [How I did it]

    I thought I had got it straight, but I didn't.

    Thank you for the comments in advance!

    It is often a matter of understanding the context, rather than merely looking at the phrase.

    If you look at what you originally asked, you will see "How come" is always the start of a question, whether rhetorical or not.

  3. BobK's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: How come

    Quote Originally Posted by marciobarbalho View Post
    , " Bone told Nith. Gaunt said, " He says, how came you here! " For a time Nith's proud face looked shrunken.

    This sentence was taken from the American Corpus.

    He says, how came you here!
    ...
    This sort of inversion is rather mannered (often archaic, or used in particular sorts of literature). I searched for 'how came you' in the American Corpus and found these five:
    1 1992 FIC BkSF:ChildElvish beauty, slim and fair, Fingers skipping, touching. Lady bold, how came you there In caverns dark and drear? What paths followed in your toil,
    2 1992 FIC BkSF:HeartMidnight remember the rich without forgetting the poor. " Eldon jabbed, " How came you by this split head? Did it cushion your fall once too often?
    3 1997 MAG Child Life of Master Joseph Holt and all his straight-laced laws. " " But how came you hither in such a storm? " Mistress Devens asked. " We do
    4 2007 FIC FantasySciFi growled and his ugly brothers-in-arms seconded his statement with derisive giggles. " How came you here? " " I say no more. Do your worst. "
    5 2007 FIC FantasySciFi , " Bone told Nith. Gaunt said, " He says, how came you here! " For a time Nith's proud face looked shrunken. Her
    Four are from SciFi, and the other is obviously archaic - "How came you hither".

    As Anglika said, 'How come' is another thing entirely.

    b

  4. Offroad's Avatar
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    #6

    Smile Re: How come

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    As Anglika said, 'How come' is another thing entirely.
    b
    Please, could you write two sentences using 'how come' and 'how came' showing the basic difference between them?

    Thank you very much.


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    #7

    Re: How come

    How come you cannot understand what I say? = How is it possible that you do not understand me?
    How come the country has got into this awful state? = How is it possible that the country is in such a bad way

    How came you to this place? = in what way did you come to this place?
    How came the country to be in this state? = what happened that meant it ended up in such a bad way?


    "How come" is one of those idiomatic collocations which has to be taken at its own value -

    "How came [you] " is an inverted form of "How did [you] come to be..."

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    #8

    Re: How come

    I'm not a teacher.

    Hi marciobarbalho,

    There is a link concerning the expression in question.

    How Come: Information from Answers.com

    Regards,

    V.

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