So, imagine that you wanted to suggest something to a friend of yours, like watching TV or go to the movies. You would say "How about watching TV?" or "What about going to the movies?" But what if you wanted that person to express his or her opinion on something you wanted to do? For example, imagine you wanted to write a letter to someone, and you asked for someone's opinion on that. How would you ask that? Can you say, for example: "How about I wrote her a letter?" or "How about I write her a letter?"? I don't think that "How about writing her a letter?" means the same, because, for me, it just doesn't feel that the person who is practicing the action (me) is explicit enough. I feel like "How about writing her a letter?" doesn't trasmit that I am the one supposed to write it. So, my question is: Can I use "How about I wrote her a letter?" or "How about I write her a letter?" or "How about me writing her a letter?" and if it is correct to say those sentences, is there any difference in their meanings?

  • Questions of the form "How about X?" are shortened versions of "How [would you feel if I did] X?". So obviously they seem rather strange in contexts where activity X has no direct bearing on the person being asked (for objective advice, not emotional reaction). Commented Sep 19, 2014 at 13:12

1 Answer 1


I'm not totally sure I grasp what you're asking, but are any of these phrases along the right lines?

Basically, you've written a letter, and want to ask someone to give you their opinion on it?

  • I wrote her a letter. What are your thoughts on it?
  • Would you like to read the letter I wrote for her?
  • Can you give me your thoughts on the letter I wrote for her?

Or maybe if you're asking someone what they think about you writing a letter, before you write it;

  • Do you think I should write her a letter?
  • I could write her a letter, what do you think?

Also, "How about I wrote her a letter?" or "How about I write her a letter?"

  • Wrote = past tense, so you can't use this to talk about doing something in the future.
  • Writing = present tense, "I'm currently writing her a letter.".
  • Write = correct, future tense. "How about I write her a letter?"
  • the second and third point answered my question, thanks. But I thought after how about I always had to say the verb in its -ing form
    – Pedro
    Commented Sep 19, 2014 at 11:57
  • 1
    No, "how about" is just canvassing their opinion. You can say anything after that. "How about we eat?", "How about I turn it off?", etc. Also, explore other ways to start sentences like that, than "how about". "What about" works too, or just "Do you want to [go to the cinema]", "Can you read this letter I've wrote?"
    – i-CONICA
    Commented Sep 19, 2014 at 12:12

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