Grammar Insight: ‘How Much Do They Cost’ vs. ‘How Much They Cost

English is a complex and vast language with many grammar rules and regulations. These intricate details can often seem daunting to those new to the language, but with some practice, anyone can learn how to use correct English syntax.

There are three main areas of English grammar: verb tenses, nouns and adjectives, and modifiers. Each has rules that must be followed for a sentence to be grammatically correct. 

The phrases “How much do they cost” and “How much they cost” are used in English to inquire about the price of something.

The main difference between the two statements is that “how much do they cost” has the verb “do,” so it’s an interrogative statement. In contrast, “how much they cost” doesn’t have the verb “do” in it and is part of a statement.

Moreover, “how much do they cost” is typically used in a question context where the person asking wants to know the price of something before making a decision.

On the contrary, “how much they cost” is usually used when referring to a specific item or set of things, and the speaker is not particularly interested in the price.

If you’re interested in these two phrases, keep reading.

What Does “How Much Do They Cost?” Imply?

The statement “how much do they cost” is a direct question that demands a straightforward answer. You’re asking for the cost of something and want to know how much it costs.

An image showing several tenses written on a green board.
Understanding tenses is imperative to learn English.

You can also use it in these scenarios:

  • It can be used to ask about the price of something, like a product or service.
  • It can also be used when someone asks if you want to buy something.
  • Finally, it can indicate that the person is talking about how much money something costs.

“How Much Do They Cost” vs. “How Much They Cost”: Know The Difference

“How much do they cost” and “how much they cost” are two ways to say the same thing: how much it costs. However, they’re used differently in conversation.

  • A significant difference between these two statements is “how much do they cost?” has the verb “do” before the subject, so it’s an interrogative statement. Comparatively, “how much they cost” has no “do” after the subject and is an expression that requires a subject or predicate to make complete sense. This often serves as a noun clause.
  • Another difference between the two statements is that the first statement means you’re asking about the price of something, whereas the second asks about the amount.

For example, if you ask someone how much a new car costs and they say $20,000 (meaning: “$20,000”), that’s a statement about price.

If you ask them how many hours of work it takes to make that car and they say 20 hours per week at $9 per hour (meaning: “$9 per hour”), that’s a statement about time.

Is It Correct To Say, “How Much Does It Cost?

“How much does it cost?” is an appropriate question when you’re asking someone how much something costs. In this case, the word “cost” refers to the item’s price.

The image above shows grammar learning concepts.

You can also use this question to ask people how much something would cost if they purchased it. If a friend says they paid $100 for their new TV, you could ask them if that’s a good deal.

You might also use this question to ask people what they think is fair when paying for groceries and gas.

What Are Different Types Of Sentences?

Sentences in English can be divided into three main types:

  • Declarative,
  • Imperative,
  • Interrogative,
  • And Exclamatory Sentence.

A declarative sentence states something factually. For example, The boy has a dog. This sentence is declarative because it says something known to be true.

An interrogative sentence asks a question and is used to make a request or give information. For example: Is the boy’s dog alive? In this case, the sentence is inquisitive because it asks a question about something that may or may not be true.

An imperative sentence is used to give a command to someone. For example, Be quiet; don’t make noise. In this sentence, a teacher is giving an order to her students to sit quietly.

An exclamatory sentence expresses strong feelings such as joy, excitement, and pleasure. There are many ways to use an exclamatory sentence—one way is just by saying “wow,” for example: Wow! That’s amazing!

Here is a video clip about different types of sentences.

There are different types of sentences in English.

How Do You Use “How Much” And “How Many?”

When you’re talking about quantities, “how much” is used to quantify the amount of something, and “how many” is used to quantify the number of something. The former is used for uncountable nouns, while the latter is used for countable nouns.

“How much” is used to talk about the amount of something: “What kind of money are you giving me for this? I need $100.”

“How many” is used to talk about things that can be counted, like people or objects: “There are five people in my class, and none of them have ever done an assignment on time. How many of those other four have turned in the assignment late?”

Here is a table showing a few examples of these two phrases.

S.No.How MuchHow Many
1.How much water is in the jug?How many vases are there in the house?
2.How much flour do you need to prepare a cake?How many pens do you need?
Examples of “how much” and “how many”

How Do You Use “Cost” In A Sentence?

Cost is a word that’s been used in English many times. You can use cost to describe the money you need to spend on something. For example, “I’m going to buy this TV for $300.” This sentence means that buying this TV will cost you $300.

You can also use cost as a synonym for price or when comparing prices between things. For example: “The price of gas is going up again.” This sentence means that the cost of gas has gone up again.

Final Thoughts

  • English is a pretty extensive language with complex grammar.
  • You can get confused between sentences having similar structure and meaning.
  • “How much do they cost” and “how much they cost” are two different sentences with almost identical meanings.
  • The former is a complete sentence giving you a complete sense.
  • On the other hand, the latter is a phrase that needs a proper subject or predicate to give you a complete meaning.

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