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  1. Newbie
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      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
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      • China
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      • China

    • Join Date: Feb 2009
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    #1

    what's the difference ?

    what's the different from "what about..." and "how about..." ?

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    #2

    Re: what's the difference ?

    It's difficult to say, since you don't include the context.

    But here's an example of possible meanings:

    What about lunch?
    information is needed (the what)


    How about lunch?
    Is there a possibility that you would go to lunch with me?

  2. Mrs Irons's Avatar

    • Join Date: Feb 2009
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    #3

    Re: what's the difference ?

    I am also a Chinese student leaning English, so I can understand how hard it is to tell the differences between the two. However reluctant I am to admit, we Chinese tend to misuse them quite frequently, as they can be used interchangeably under many circumstances. I once asked a teacher of mine and learned that the major difference is that 'what about' is used when asking for information or to get sb's opinion, especially when referring to sth specific, within the range of a known topic between/among the speakers, while 'how about' is more often than not used when making a suggestion, esp. out of blue. For example:

    -Jack is a strong candidate. He graduated from Oxford.
    -Yes, that's impressive, but what about his work experience?

    -How about taking a walk after dinner?
    -Good idea. I'd love to.

    Still oftentimes it is fairly difficult to clarify the meanings of similar expressions as in this case. But that's also a fascinating aspect of language, I believe. Sometimes words are so inexplicit, subtle that we'll need to rely on our 'language senses'. Don't worry, we get improved with practice. Hope you find this helpful.

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    #4

    Re: what's the difference ?

    Sometimes they can be used interchangeably, but not always.

    eg. "I hear that John bought a motorcycle." "How about that!" This shows the second person's excitement, approval of the action.

    "I hear that John bought a motorcycle." "What about it?" asks the question as if there is something wrong in the purchase, as if it has to be defended.
    Last edited by Searching for language; 13-Feb-2009 at 16:07. Reason: spelling

  3. RonBee's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: what's the difference ?

    Always remember that context makes all the difference as far as meaning is concerned.


  4. RonBee's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: what's the difference ?

    P.S. Say:
    What's the difference between X and Y?

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