How to...?

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shane

Senior Member
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Apr 17, 2003
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Student or Learner
Since I arrived in China, I've heard many students begin a question using 'How to', for example:

'How to spell this word?'
'How to write...?'

It always seemed a strange way of beginning a sentence to me, as I don't remember hearing it when in the UK. I always heard:

'How do you spell this word?'
'How do you write...?'

Am I going crazy? Is beginning a question with 'How to' ungrammatical?

Sorry for asking what seems such a simple question! :)
 

RonBee

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It's not idiomatic English. I would also say that "How to spell this word?" is ungrammatical. It's certainly not a sentence.

:)
 

shane

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2003
Member Type
Student or Learner
RonBee said:
It's not idiomatic English. I would also say that "How to spell this word?" is ungrammatical. It's certainly not a sentence.

:)

Cheers RonBee, I'm glad I'm not going mad! :D
 

Tdol

Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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Nov 13, 2002
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I've always thought 'How can I spell...' a touch strange. ;-)
 
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