Asking a "How" Question

ALULA staff, Updated on April 16, 2024

  • "How" questions are used to inquire about the manner, quality, or degree of something.
  • "How" + adjective questions ask about characteristics or conditions.
  • "How" + adverb questions focus on the manner in which an action is performed.

"How" questions are versatile and essential in English. They allow you to inquire about various aspects of a noun or action. This lesson explores how to form questions with "How" combined with adjectives and adverbs, and how to appropriately respond to them.

Asking 'How' Questions Without Adjectives or Adverbs

"How" is used in a question without directly following it with an adjective or adverb. These types of questions generally require more detailed responses or explanations. They are typically about general understanding or process descriptions.

Grammar Rule: "How" + auxiliary verb ("do", "did", "should", etc.) + subject + main verb + (optional additional information)?


  • How did you find the book?

    "How" + auxiliary verb ("did") + subject ("you") + verb ("find") + object ("the book")?

  • How do you make coffee?

    "How" + auxiliary verb ("do") + subject ("you") + verb ("make") + object ("coffee")?

Using 'How' with Adjectives

When combined with an adjective, "How" questions generally ask about the state, condition, or quality of someone or something. This form is useful for getting specific descriptions or details.

Grammar Rule: "How" + adjective + be verb + subject?


  • How tall is she?

    Here, "tall" is the adjective describing a characteristic of the subject "she".

  • How old is your car?

    Asking about the age, "old" is the adjective that describes the car.

Using 'How' with Adverbs

When "How" is used with adverbs, it typically inquires about the manner or way in which something is done. These questions are key to understanding the process or method behind an action.

Grammar Rule: "How" + adverb + auxiliary verb ("do", "did", "should", etc.) + subject + base verb?


  • How quickly can you run?

    "Quickly" is the adverb modifying the verb "run", asking about the speed of running.

  • How well do you speak English?

    "Well" is the adverb describing the manner of speaking English.

Responding to 'How' Questions

Answers to these "How" questions generally involve explaining a process, giving a personal opinion, or describing an experience in detail. The response might not directly include an adjective or adverb but should address the subject and action asked about.

Example Answers:

  • How did you find the book? - I found it very interesting and informative.

    The response gives a personal evaluation of the book, which is relevant to how the book was found in terms of quality and content.

  • How do you make coffee? - First, I grind the beans, then I brew them in a coffee maker.

    This answer outlines the steps taken to make coffee, directly responding to the query about the process.

Responses to "How" questions should appropriately match the adjective or adverb used in the question. Here are examples of answers for both types of questions:

Example Answers:

  • How tall is she? - She is 5 feet 7 inches tall.

    The answer specifically addresses the adjective "tall" with a measurement.

  • How quickly can you run? - I can run 100 meters in 12 seconds.

    The answer gives a specific detail to match the adverb "quickly", describing the speed of running.

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