Adverbs and The Word “HOW” Teacher Training #22

Like most words in English, adverbs are essential. The adverb “How” is used many different ways. Questions, phrasal verbs and more. In this article, I will offer a few ways to use “How” along with some examples with adverbs.

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One of the fun parts of English is that words can be used so many different ways. The word “How” is no exception. In general, the word “How” is used to form questions. In every day usage, it is used in positive and negative statements as well. “How” can be used with both countable and uncountable nouns.

As an adverb, “How” can be used to refer to time, frequency and distance. Indirect questions provide other ways to use the word “How”. Exclamations contain many variants with the word “How”. In this article, I will cover these uses with examples and more detail. Adverbs are an essential part of the English language.

Adverbs are an essential part of English.

Meeting and greetings are common with the word “How”. “How are you?”. An answer might be “I am fine, how about you?”. This question can be used with the verb “Do” as well. “How do you do?”.

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There is an important distinction between these two statements. “How are you?” can be used EVERY TIME we meet someone again and again. “How do you do” is used just for the first time we meet or are introduced to someone, NOT again and again.

A common misuse of “How do you do” and “How are you doing?” is not understanding the difference between them. “How are you doing?” implies a temporary condition. In other words “How are you doing these days” might be more useful if something has changed.

However, in an informal manner, just about anything goes. Examples might be “Hey! How are you?” or “Hey! How you doin’?” The last example would be considered slang or informal English.

Adverbs are used many ways in English.

“How” can be used to ask questions with uncountable and countable nouns. With the verb “Be”, “How much is there?” or with the verb “Do” “How much do we have?”. Countable  with the verb “To be” might be “How many are there?” or with the verb “Do”,  “How many do we have?”.

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Answers using the verb “To be” might be “There isn’t much” or “There is SO much”. Answers with the verb “Do” might be “We don’t have much” or “We do have a lot”. “How” can refer to time and distance. An example might be “How much time will it take to finish the job?” or “How long will it take us to get there?”. For distance, we might say “How far is our destination?” or “How many miles is it to our destination?”

The word used for frequency might be something like “How often do you visit your family?” or “How frequently do you go to the movies?”. Indirect questions with “How” are also common in English. Here is just one example “I wonder how she read that book so quickly?”. An exclamation might be “How in the world?” or “How in the heck?”. These are informal ways to use the word “How” as interjections.

As you can see, the word “How” is used many ways in the English language. Even North American Indians used it to say “Hello”. One simple word can be used so many different ways. Study English every day and learn new vocabulary along with it’s usage. Practice spoken English as often as possible and you will be speaking fluently in no time.

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