+0
Hi

Could you please explain to me the difference between:

How do you mean?

What do you mean?

Are they synonymous?

Thanks,

Tom
+2
I think it's better to think of these as two different questions.

What do you mean? asks for a complete explanation. The speaker did not understand any of what was said, or understood very little of it.

How do you mean? asks in what way what was said is true. The speaker understood the main idea of what was said, but wants clarification of the sense in which it was intended or how it applies to specific situations.

Some people do occasionally use "How" instead of "What", or "What" instead of "How", but the usual word is "What" when you ask what someone means -- unless you are really asking for the sense in which what was said is true.

CJ
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Many thanks, CJ!

Your answer is a complete lesson indeed! As usual, I appreciate(d) the effort.

Tom
Hi

I would like to know who verified CJ's post, please.

Tom
Grammar Geek
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Thanks, CJ!

Why don't you suggest to the admin that the members should be allowed to see the verifier of the posts? At least the 'trusted members'!

Tom
I'm so sorry for my so very belated question and its being off the topic. Emotion: sad
It's about your wording used in post #2 as answer to difference between "What do you mean?" and "How do you mean?".

How do you mean? asks in what way what was said is true.
I'd like to know if I can rephrase "asks in what way what was said is true" as "asks what way what was said is true in."
park sang joonI'd like to know if I can rephrase "asks in what way what was said is true" as "asks what way what was said is true in."
You can, but frankly no native speaker would rephrase it like that. There are too many words between "what" and "in", which go together in a meaningful way. By putting the two close together ("in what") you make the phrase easier to understand.

CJ
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Thank you, Mr.Jim, so much for your so very kind answer. Emotion: smile
I thought in any indirect questions, prepositions should be positioned at the end of sentences in terms of common practice.
I was wondering if I have a wrong knowledge.
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