1. How to listen to music
  2. How a City in France got out the World's first Short-Story vending machines
  3. How we learn fairness
  4. What makes great detective fiction according to T.S. Elliot
  5. What went wrong at St Marks Bookshop

I see that in the New Yorker we have these headlines. Even though they do not have question marks, are these questions? (Specially the first three examples)

  • 2
    No, they're not questions. You could replace "how" with "the way" in the first 3 examples.
    – Greg Lee
    Feb 19, 2016 at 8:09
  • 2
    These may be considered as deletions of complement clauses (I know / Get to know how to listen to music), which do not take question marks. Feb 19, 2016 at 11:09
  • Edwin Ashworth. Can you please elaborate on that? I mean, when I say "I know how to listen music" or "Get to know how to list to music" I believe these are indirect questions, am I right?
    – Mike
    Feb 20, 2016 at 15:14

1 Answer 1


How can be used in three contexts: As an adverb: How do you make fish-and-chips? As a conjunction: I know how this is done. As a modifier to express surprise: How remarkable!

  • Are you saying that the three sentences are questions?
    – user140086
    Feb 19, 2016 at 8:23
  • Perhaps you could explain the how and why of there being only three contexts.
    – deadrat
    Feb 19, 2016 at 8:40
  • So "how" in the post is used as a conjunction, akin to "Why to listen to music". But the construction is special: nothing is connected really, which would normally be what conjunctions do. Can you elaborate on that construction? Feb 19, 2016 at 9:06
  • @Rathony. No, I am merely giving three examples of using how.
    – tom
    Feb 19, 2016 at 10:43
  • @deadrat. There could more than just three contexts, I just provided three examples in this answer.
    – tom
    Feb 19, 2016 at 10:53

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