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Message de imightbewrong posté le 2004-08-17 17:34:14 (S | E | F | I)
I need to get some precisions about how to use these expressions: "What about(...),how about(...),what if (..)".What are the differences?Can you give me some examples so that I can understand how to build sentences? I couldn't find it in this website,so I do hope someone'll be able to help me (or direct me to the proper lesson).
thanks


Réponse: re:what about? de willy, postée le 2004-08-17 17:49:34 (S | E)
How/what about (having) a drink ? Et si nous prenions un verre ? (suggestion)
How/what about a cup of tea ? (idem)(un bon moyen pour faire une pause pour réfléchir !)
How/what about going out tonight ? (idem)

What if we miss the plane ? Que se passera-t-il/que faire si nous ratons l'avion ? (supposition)
What if nobody's expecting us at the station ? ...............si personne ne nous attend à la gare ? (supposition)

Une grammaire qui est très bien faite : "Grammaire de l'anglais" avec 300 exercices corrigés (Jacques Marcelin & trois autres auteurs) édité par Le Robert & Nathan.

Un bon guide de référence en anglais par Michael SWAN chez Oxford University Press : "Practical English Usage".


Réponse: re:what about? de imightbewrong, postée le 2004-08-17 18:09:27 (S | E)
thanks willy,for your answers.I thought there was some differences between "What about" and "how about",but it seems I was wrong...


Réponse: re:what about? de traviskidd, postée le 2004-08-17 18:40:57 (S | E)
There are some diffences in usage between "What about" and "How about".

"What about" is used when explaining that there are other people/things to consider.

"How about" is used when asking if someone would like, or at least be willing to accept, something.

"I would love to go out with you. But what about my children? They can't stay home alone. Oh, I have an idea! How about letting them come with us?"

-------------------
Edité par traviskidd le 2004-08-17 18:50:39


Réponse: re:what about? de andrewfsi, postée le 2004-08-17 19:35:28 (S | E)
Yeah, TK is right, whereas "how about" can be translated as "et si + imparfait", "what about" is more correctly translated as "et + noun"

Et si on allait au ciné avec Pierre et Marie? How about we go to the movies with Pierre and Marie?
Et Jean? Il vient aussi? What about Jean? Is he coming too?


Réponse: re:what about? de imightbewrong, postée le 2004-08-17 20:18:29 (S | E)
thanks for your answers,but there's still something I don't get...Can you tell me wether these two sentences are correct?
-How about we go to the movies with Pierre and Marie?
-How about going to the movie...(I guess this one is correct,but what about the previous one?)
And would it be possible to say "what if we go to the movie..."?


Réponse: re:what about? de traviskidd, postée le 2004-08-17 20:27:04 (S | E)
Good examples from Andrew. I'll just note, though, that "How about" can be followed by a noun, and that "What about" can be followed by a verb (or, more precisely, a gerund).

"How about a cup of coffee?"
"But what about going to bed early tonight? I thought we both wanted a good night's sleep. Won't the caffeine keep us up?"


Réponse: re:what about? de willy, postée le 2004-08-17 20:35:00 (S | E)
How about we go ... ? I don't think you would ever hear that in British English !

Here are the examples from the British English grammar I mentioned above :

- How about going out this evening ?
- What about calling a meeting to discuss it ?

- How about a drink ?
- What about a Coke ?

How do you feel about them ?


Réponse: re:what about? de imightbewrong, postée le 2004-08-17 20:42:37 (S | E)
It' s very kind of you,Traviskidd, to give me these precisions,but now I can't figure anything out at all!
"What about a cup of coffee" and "how about a cup of cup" are both correct and have the same meaning,aren't they?
By the way, how would you say "me voila revenu au point de depart..."(cause I am...)
So please tell me what distinguish "what about" from "how about".(if there is really any kind of difference).

And What/How about "what if we have a cup of tea"?Is it correct?

-------------------
Edité par imightbewrong le 2004-08-17 20:45:32


Réponse: re:what about? de traviskidd, postée le 2004-08-17 20:44:17 (S | E)
"How about we go" is best.

"How about going" is OK, but out of context it will usually mean "How about you go".

"What if we go" does not mean the same thing. It means "What would happen if we go? What are the consequences (not necessarily bad) of our going?"

-------------------
Edité par traviskidd le 2004-08-17 20:46:02


Réponse: re:what about? de traviskidd, postée le 2004-08-17 20:57:39 (S | E)
No, "how about" and "what about" are a little different. It is true that they are often used interchangeably, so if you see one, it is well possible that the other is really meant. But until your intuition is good I would not suggest trying to interchange them yourself.

If I say "How about a cup of coffee?", I am offering you a cup of coffee. It is equivalent to "Would you like a cup of coffee?"

If I say "What about a cup of coffee?" I'm asking you to consider a cup of coffee for some particular reason. "You say nothing will keep you awake. What about a cup of coffee? Have you tried that?"

Finally, "me voila revenu au point de depart" = "Here I am, back where I started."

Or, if you mean you thought you had made progress but now you see you haven't, a better translation is

"Here I am, back to square one."

-------------------
Edité par traviskidd le 2004-08-17 21:15:10


Réponse: re:what about? de imightbewrong, postée le 2004-08-17 21:28:09 (S | E)
I think I got it,thanks to you,Traviskidd.
How about (do/have) something-->I propose you something
"how about driving my car"--->Veux tu conduire ma voiture"
What about(do/have)something--->I ask what you'd think about something (but it can also be a proposition like how about)
"What about my car driving--->que penses tu de la conduite de ma voiture"
What if (do) something--->what would happen if...
"What if you drive my car--->quel risque y'a t-il à te laisser conduire"
Is it correct?


Réponse: re:what about? de traviskidd, postée le 2004-08-17 22:11:38 (S | E)
Yes imightbewrong your understanding is better.

Here are some more examples. I'll also include some where the two are interchangeabe. I'll put the less preferred way in (parentheses).

"I don't really want to play Scrabble. How about we play Monopoly instead?"
"Sorry, I don't like Monopoly."
"Alright, then. How (what) about chess?"

"I see you have oranges, pears, and bananas here. What (how) about apples? Do you have those too?"

"Honey, how about spending the night with me?"
"I would love to, but what about my parents? What if they found out?"

"I would love to meet you, but what about transportation? I don't have a car."
"How about (what if) I come get you in my car?"

"Since you don't have a cell phone, how about taking mine? That way I can call you if necessary."
"No, you need your cell phone. What (how) about John's? I can use his, can't I?"

"How about driving my new car?" -- Veux-tu conduire ma nouvelle voiture? Et si tu conduisais ma nouvelle voiture? Je pense que ce serait bon si tu conduisait ma nouvelle voiture. Es-tu d'accord?

"No, you need your new car. How about I drive your old car instead?"
or
"No, you need your car. What (how) about your old car? Do you still have it? Maybe I could drive that one instead."
or
"No, you need your car. How (what) about your old car? Could I drive that one instead?"


Réponse: re:what about? de traviskidd, postée le 2004-08-17 23:12:43 (S | E)
Let me add also that "How about" can be a request as well as an offer.

"John, I'll be going on vacation for a few days, and I will need to leave my dog here. You don't need to watch him for me, but how about just coming by every once in a while and making sure he has food and water?"

You should only use "How about" as a request if you know the person well and you don't think he would refuse.




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