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What v/s How

English grammar help. Grammar questions from ESL learners

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What v/s How

Postby NGUYEN » Fri May 25, 2012 3:01 pm

Dear Teacher:
Which of the following sentence(s) is/are correct? If all are correct, what is the difference in meaning?
1. What do you call him?
2. I don’t know what to call him.

3. How do you call him?
4. I don’t know how to call him.

5. What do you call this object in English?
4. How do you call this object in English?

It is felt that sentences 1 and 2 express the question: friend, enemy, ally or partner.
Sentences 3 and 4 express the question: Bill, buddy, Mr Smith or Dr Smith.
Please help. Thank you very much. Respectfully
NGUYEN
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Re: What v/s How

Postby Alan » Sat May 26, 2012 6:00 am

Only 1,2 & 5 are plausible.

How to call might refer to the correct way of calling a dog (i.e. shouting/whistling/...), but would not convey the meaning that you intend!
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