What do people mean when they say

How do you mean?

Are they asking me to explain what I just said? Then how is it different from

What do you mean?


What do you mean? is commonly known and usually said when one does not comprehend what the other said. Basically it is asking for a repeat of the sentence in more detail.

How do you mean? is a little different. How can be defined as in what way or manner.

How does this work?

In what way or manner does this work?

Both sentences are basically the same. So, How do you mean? is asking:

In what way or manner do you mean?

  • Could you give an example where responses to the two would be different?
    – aandis
    Aug 28 '15 at 14:24
  • 1
    Here are some nice examples: forum.wordreference.com/threads/… // Also note that in some contexts "What do you mean?" can be a bit more confrontational. Aug 29 '15 at 22:34

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.