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How did you enjoy that?

2 replies

Whydoyouneedtoknow · 30/09/2021 07:49

My parents always asked this question as it elicits a more indepth response than did you enjoy it? 'Yes/No' and why did you enjoy it? 'Because I did'

My child has questioned this phrase. Is it correct? And if not could you explain why it isn't as they are interested in how language works. Thanks

OP posts:
DadDadDad · 30/09/2021 09:29

I don't think it's ungrammatical - the way that helps me see this is to try replacing one of the words: so,

"How did you fix that?",

"How did you eat that?"

"How did you hate that?"

suggest "How did you" + TRANSITIVE VERB + "that?" is grammatical.

If it remains grammatical when you replace "How" with "Why", "When" etc, then I can't see why "How" is wrong.

But I think there's something about the meaning that feels slightly odd.

If I ask "How did you eat that?" that could mean I'm asking the method or process you used to eat something ("with a knife and fork" / "I boiled it for ten minutes"), but it could mean "How did you manage to eat that?" as in "how did you eat that? it's disgusting, I had to spit it out straightaway".

What sense do you think works for "How did you enjoy that?" and what kind of answer does it get? Is it the same answer you would get if during the activity you were asked "how are you enjoying this?"

Alcemeg · 21/10/2021 19:05

I think it's just an abbreviated way of asking, "How well did you enjoy that?"

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