Why are “how” questions so hard to understand?
At around 42-48 months of age, typically developing children begin to understand “how” questions. But many people – including people learning English as a second language and people with communication disorders – struggle to understand “how” questions.
Of all the question words, “how” is one of the trickiest adverbs to understand and to use. That’s because we use “how” in at least three different ways:
(1) “How” can mean – “In what manner?”
How did Joss get the torch to work? He put batteries in it!
How did Harley learn to tie his shoes? By practising every day!
(2) “How” can be used to ask questions about the condition of something or someone
How is the girl feeling? Happy.
How was the chocolate cake? Yummy!
(3) “How” can be used to ask about the extent or degree of something
How old is Grandpa? More than sixty!
How nice was that ice cream? Really nice!
In this 18-page no-prep resource pack, we provide 42 scaffolded sentences to help people understand and to use “how” in questions.