How to say this? = WRONG (how do you say this? = right!)

I've noticed this is a very common mistake for English learners. It's so common that I'm leaving a friendly reminder for everyone to see!


In English you should <em>never</em>, <em>ever</em> start a question with "How to...?"

"How to say this in English?"

"How to improve my listening?"


The correct way is:

"How <em>do you</em> say this in English?"

"How <em>do I</em>/<em>can I</em>/<em>should I</em> improve my listening?"


When you see "how to" in English, it's used inside a sentence, never as a question-starter:

"Do you know how to say this in English?"

"I don't know how to improve my listening."


Just remember the simple rule:


Never start a question with "How to"


...and your English will instantly sound much more natural! : )

Feb 5, 2016 12:31 PM
Comments · 3

I'd add one caveat. It can be used at the beginning if it's meant as instructions on how to do something, but as you pointed it out it still wouldn't be a question and it wouldn't even technically be a sentence as a general rule.


For example, you might see a title like

"How to make friends in five simple steps"


Or if it's a sentence it could be something like

" 'How to get there' is one of several topics that we'll be discussing in the meeting today." (phrasing things this way is a little clumsy though)

February 5, 2016

Thanks, Alan for your interesting tip!

February 5, 2016
thank you.....
February 5, 2016