Home LanguageGrammar What’s the Difference Between “How do you think” and “What do you think”?

What’s the Difference Between “How do you think” and “What do you think”?

by Logan

The word ‘how’ and ‘what’ both have different definitions and usage. ‘How’ in English grammar is a conjunction that implies to ask ‘in what way’ or ‘to what extent.

The word ‘what’ has several roles in English writings and oral communication. It can function as an adjective, adverb, pronoun, or interjection. It varies on how you will use it in a sentence.

When you are using conjunction, adjective, adverb, pronoun, or interjection, we must ensure that we are utilizing the grammatical rules and that these words are used in the appropriate context. It’s very typical for individuals to get these two terms mixed up and use them in the wrong manner.

This article will help you out in understanding the difference between ‘how do you think’ and ‘what do you think’ and how you can use them both correctly.

Let’s start!

What Do You Think or How Do You Think?

a man thinking
Man thinking

What do you think and how do you think are used differently in a sentence. When you say ‘what do you think?’ it means that you are asking other people’s opinions about something.

On the other hand, when you say ‘how do you think?’ it means that you are asking which way the other people are thinking.

Although there isn’t much of a difference between the two, it’s really obvious that ‘what do you think is commonly used when choosing a dress when you are shopping in a mall, where you ask your friend or relatives to know their opinion about the dress.

To give you a more clear idea of what is the difference between these two phrases, here are the definition of these two terms that might help you:

According to this article, you use the word ‘what’ when you are asking for information about things and actions.

Whereas, according to The Cambridge Dictionary, you use the word ‘how’ when you are asking ‘to what extent’ or ‘in what way.’

How Do You Explain The Difference Between ‘what’ and ‘how’?

what
What?

Questioning is done with the words like “how” and “what.” These questions produced a variety of answers.

Here are different ways how you can use the word ‘how’

You can use it as an adverb, here’s how:

QuestionExample
In what way?How did he fall?
To what extent?How hurt is your arm?
What are the circumstances?How is she?
What is the impact or significance?How could she possibly comprehend his plans?
How to use a title or name in a specific way?How did you do the proper way to greet the king?
What is the price or the quantityHow much is the dragon fruit?
Chart about the usage of how as an adverb

You can use it in conjunction, here’s how:

Example
The method by whichShe could never understand how to dance on time.
ThatShe demonstrated how her dancing skills are unique to everyone.
ConditionHe doesn’t mind how she does it as long as she does it correctly.
HoweverShe can write how she likes.
Chart about the usage of how as a conjunction

“What” can be used in a variety of ways, and I’ve tried to cover some of them in this article.

Here are different ways how you can use the word ‘what’

You can use it as a pronoun, here’s how:

Example
It’s used to store details about a person or the source of something.What is his name? What breed are those dogs?
To ask about something’s utility or significanceWithout health, what is wealth?
A request for information to be repeatedSorry, but what did you say?
WhateverAllow her to express what she wants to say
Type of person or object that existThey are exactly what we had hoped for.
It implies that something else should be added or followed.Should I eat now, or what?
Exclamatory expressionsWhat coincidence?
Chart about the usage of how as a conjunction

You can use it as a noun, here’s how:

It demonstrates the true character or totality of something. For instance, consider the whats and hows of schooling.

You can use it as an adjective, here’s how:

In front of nouns. For instance, what books should I bring?

You can use it as an adverb, here’s how:

Why? For instance, what is the goal?

Check out my other article to know the comparison between “See you around” and “See you later”.

How to Use “What do you think” in a Sentence?

Here’s a video to watch to ease confusion between what and how

Here’s a list of sentences on how you can use ‘what do you think in a sentence.

  • What do you think about the new school policy?
  • What do you think of my new car?
  • What do you think about freediving?
  • What do you think of investing in mutual funds?
  • What do you think of commuting next week?
  • What do you think about having a new fur baby?
  • What do you think of having multiple sources of income?
  • What do you think about working abroad?
  • What do you think of applying for a scholarship?
  • What do you think about car racing?
  • What do you think of joining the army?
  • What do you think of having a tattoo?

Basically, these questions seek someone’s opinion about a specific subject. So, it’s up to you on what topic or subject are you going to talk about, by asking what are their opinions about the said topic.

How to Use “How do you think” in a Sentence?

Here’s a list of sentences on how you can use “how do you think” in a sentence.

  • How do you think I can survive this?
  • How do you think covid will end?
  • How do you think I will win the crown?
  • How do you think the company will increase revenue?
  • How do you think the management will solve this?
  • How do you think she handles all the pain?
  • How do you think I can make it?
  • How do you think I can sell this?
  • How do you think they overcome it?
  • How do you think this bakery will improve?
  • How do you think the price will decrease?
  • How do you think this remote will function?

So, the bulleted sentences above show how you can construct sentences using the phrase ‘how do you think’. It only means that by asking these kinds of questions you are asking for someone’s way of thinking.

Which is Correct, “What do you think” or “How do you think?”

They are both grammatically correct. However, they’re likely to elicit different responses.

How do you think about the color red?’
‘With my brain.’
‘What do you think about the color red?’
‘It’s okay, but I prefer brown.’

“What are your thoughts?” The word ‘what‘ is the noun in this usage, and ‘do you think’ is the predicate (In other words, the verb). You have a simple sentence that contains only the necessary elements to form a sentence.

The word ‘what’ indicates that the questioner wishes to hear the recipient’s opinion. In other words, he could have just as easily asked, ‘What is your opinion of…?’ or ‘What do you think about…?’ In both cases, the noun is ‘what,’ and the fragment concerning think is the predicate.

How do you think?” is unique. The word ‘how’ refers to the means, method, or tools. In other words, the how modifies or qualifies the verb, making it an adverb. Adverbs are not nouns.

In that case, I believe ‘you’ would be the noun (remember, a pronoun can also be a noun/subject). The adverb ‘how’ would then modify/qualify the verb.

After analyzing this sentence, you should be able to determine which of the two approaches is correct in your specific situation.

The Final Say

Both “what do you think ” and “how do you think” are interrogative phrases that are used in interrogation. They respond to different queries.

“How” responds to questions such as “in what manner?” Or in what manner? “What,” on the other hand, responds to questions regarding the identification of a person, thing, or source of anything.

It occasionally responds to a specific query about a certain topic. There are numerous applications, which can be understood by looking at the samples stated above.

I hope this article helps you in determining the differences between the two. If you want to know other differences about anything, please read more.

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