Is there a distinction between beginning a question with How about and What about?Can we use both expressions interchangeably?



I think they have the right to be used interchangeably, there is a lot of overlap in between the two, but I would usually use

"How about" when making a tip that ns feel is best.

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I would usage "What about" as soon as I am less set on the idea and an ext willing to listen to various other suggestions.

"What about" can additionally express an objection, whereas "how about" go not.

How about going come a movie?

I would love to, however what about the kids? <meaning that us would have to arrange for your care>

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From what I´ve learned to teach, and also what I´ve viewed in many books, the distinction is the we use WHAT about + noun, and HOW about + verb. It´s a pretty straightforward explanation, but that´s exactly how it´s gift taught in schools in Brazil.


"What about ..." is usually a way to bring an objection or potential obstacle into consideration in mine experience, conversely, "how around ..." expands, fairly than restricts, the possibilities."

This is a very great way to define it. Below are some examples:

Andy: "I"m bored. There"s nothing to do." Danny: "How about we go view a movie?"

Andy: "I"m bored. Let"s go see a movie." Danny: "What about our exams tomorrow?"

In the an initial example, Danny broadens the possibilities: Andy believed there to be nothing come do, however Danny reminded him the they might see a movie.

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In the second example, Danny restricted the possibilities: Andy wanted to see a movie, but Danny reminded him the they had to research for your exams.

On a side note, "what about" cannot take a sentence. "What about we see a movie?" is wrong. You can say, however "What about seeing a movie?" or "What around a movie?"

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edited Mar 14 "12 at 9:54
answered Mar 14 "12 at 9:48
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I was simply asked this concern by a girlfriend of mine, and also after pausing to analysis my indigenous intuition, ns googled to see if anyone had actually done a an ext thorough analysis.

The answer here aided solidify my feeling of the difference, yet none of lock entirely caught the distinction that ns perceive, though several touched on it.

It appears to me that, while there is much similarity and also overlap between these two expressions, the distinction is in focus.

how about emphasizes the advancement of a brand-new suggestion, whilewhat about puts a tiny bit an ext emphasis on the request for details or feedback.

When you to speak "how around we get coffee?" girlfriend are primarily asking for an affirmative or negative reply. You space making a pointer that girlfriend (normally) hope will certainly be accepted. (This, incidentally, fits very closely through the truth that you deserve to use a full independent clause v how about, due to the fact that you need to have the ability to do the to make a tip or development a complete idea.)

When you to speak "what about tea?" you are mainly asking for info or feedback on part thing (a noun or noun phrase, in this case—not an elevation clause). In some instances it is an alternative given after ~ a suggestion given with how about has actually been rejected, because (in the case) over there is no need to mention the entirety idea, but only one items in it.