How, how many, how much

WH-Questions

(How, how many, how much)

1. We can use how with the verb ‘to be’ or the verb ‘to do’ in this way:

a) How + adjective + the verb ‘to be’ + noun/pronoun

Examples:

How generous is Mr. Lim? (Referring to quality)

He is extremely generous. (General answer – repeat the adjective)

He donates to several charitable organizations every year.

(Specific answer)

How bad is the damage to the retaining wall? (Referring to the condition)

It is extensive. (General answer)

Half the wall has come down. (Specific answer)

 

b) How + the verb ‘to do’ + noun/pronoun + base form of main verb

Example:

How did you cook the vegetables?

(Referring to a method) I steamed them.

Remember

How is usually used with certain adjectives to ask for different types of information,

For example:

Age – How old

Distance – How far

Height – How tall

Length of time- How long

Size – How big

Unlike the answers to most of the other wh-questions,

The answer to a how question may not follow the tense in the question itself.

Example:

How intelligent is Vincent?

He has been the top student in his form every year.

 

2. We can use how many or how much with the verb ‘to do’ in this way:

How many / how much + noun + the verb ‘to do’ + noun/pronoun + base form of main verb

Example:

How many applicants did Mrs. Lee interview?

She interview 20 applicants.

How much rice do they cook daily for the refugees?

They cook 20 large pots of rice daily for the refugees.

Remember

How many and how much are used to ask questions about quantity or amount.

How many is used with plural countable nouns and

how much with uncountable nouns.

 

3. We use the past participle after the verb ‘to be’ to form the passive voice with how, how many, and how much questions in these ways:

a) How + the verb ‘to be’ + noun + past participle form of main verb

Example:

How were the proceeds of the charity concert distributed?

They were donated to five orphanages.

 

b) How many / how much + noun + the verb ‘to be’ + past participle form of main verb

Examples:

How many youngsters are offered leadership training courses each year?

About 100 youngsters are offered leadership training courses each year.

How much time was allocated for the Reading Comprehension paper?

One hour was allocated for the Reading Comprehension paper.

 

4. We use the past participle after the verb ‘to have’ in how many, and how much questions in these ways:

a)   Perfect tense

How many / how much + noun + the verb ‘to have’ + noun/pronoun + past participle form of main verb

Examples:

How many patients has Dr Peters seen this morning?

He has seen twenty patients this morning.

How much work have you put in today?

I have finalized the report and sent out all the letters.

 

b)  Passive voice

How many / how much + noun + the verb ‘to have’ + been + past participle form of main verb

Examples:

How many witnesses have been questioned?

Five witnesses have already been questioned.

How much time has been wasted on this project?

Five months have already been wasted on this project.

 

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