How vs Why

Type your word here
Try:

What’s the difference between them?

How

Meaning:

How is an adverb used to ask a question about a manner of doing something.

Examples:

1. How are you feeling today?

2. How did you come up with that idea?

3. How can I help you with this problem?

Why

Meaning:

Why: used to ask for the reason of something; used to request an explanation.

Examples:

1. 'Why did this happen?'

2. 'Why should I believe you?'

3. 'Why don't we try something different?'

Learn similar and opposite words to spot the difference

Synonyms

Antonyms

How

1. What

2. In what way

3. As to

4. Pertaining to

5. In respect to

1. Why

2. Negate

3. Deny

4. Abandon

5. Unlearn

Why

1. Reason

2. Motive

3. Explanation

4. Justification

5. Rationale

1. Agree

2. Disagree

3. Refuse

4. Deny

5. Not comply

Tricks for mastery

Useful tips to understand the difference between confusing words "How", "Why".

1. 'How' rhymes with 'now,' and 'why' rhymes with 'try.'

2. Remember that 'how' is used to ask about the manner of doing something.

3. Remember that 'why' is used to ask about the reason for something.

Check the full list of commonly confused words in English

Learn the difference

Frequently asked questions

In what situations should the first word be used?

How should be used when asking questions. It is one of the five Ws (who, what, when, where, why) typically used when forming a question.

When is the appropriate context for using the second word?

Why should be used to express the purpose of something or to ask for a reason for something. It is used to seek out the cause or explanation of an event or action.

Do the two words share the same pronunciation?

No, the two words do not share the same pronunciation. The word 'how' is pronounced with a long 'o' sound, while the word 'why' has a short 'i' sound.

What are some common mistakes people make when using these words?

Common mistakes people make when using these words is confusing them with each other, as they are both commonly used when forming questions. Additionally, people often use why to ask questions that could be more appropriately asked with how.

Fill in the gaps to check yourself

1. _____ do you think you should take this course?

2. _____ did you decide to take a different route?

3. Im asking _____ this happened.

4. _____ much does this book cost?

5. Can you explain ____ the project deadline was extended?

6. Im wondering _____ she made that decision.

1. Why

Explanation: The word why is used to ask questions which require an explanation or justification for something. In this case, the speaker is asking the listener to provide an explanation or justification for why they think they should take the course.

2. How

Explanation: The word how is used to ask questions which require an explanation or description of how something was done. In this case, the speaker is asking the listener to provide an explanation or description of how they decided to take a different route.

3. Why

Explanation: The word why is used to ask questions which require an explanation or justification for something. In this case, the speaker is asking why this happened.

4. How

Explanation: The phrase how much is used to ask questions which require an explanation of a quantity or price. In this case, the speaker is asking the listener to provide an explanation of how much this book costs.

5. Why

Explanation: In this sentence, why is used to introduce a question, seeking an explanation or reason for the extension of the project deadline.

6. Why

Explanation: The word why is used to ask questions which require an explanation or justification for something. In this case, the speaker is asking why she made that decision.

Get a gift by subscribing to our newsletter!

Download the PDF with a list of commonly confused words made as flashcards for comfortable learning.

List of Commonly Confused Words

Finding your way around the English language can be hard, especially since there are so many confusing words and rules. So, a list of the most confusing words in English is an extremely useful tool for improving language accuracy and sharing the ideas clearly.