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This question already has an answer here:

I want to ask a question what someone would say in or about a certain situation.

Here's a question. "How would you say when you had a great time?"

And I'm expecting the answer, "It was fun."

Should I say "How would you say when ~?", "How would you say it when~?" or "What would you say when~?" Which one sounds better?

marked as duplicate by Edwin Ashworth, jimm101, Bread, Scott, DJClayworth Apr 5 '18 at 17:09

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    None of the possible duplicates above answer this OP's question. They contain the word "call" and ask about the name for a noun phrase: How do you call a thing that does this? vs. What do you call a thing that does this? The question here asks how to pose a question that elicits an answer that is a sentence. It is not about asking how ask about naming something. – Shoe Apr 5 '18 at 10:14
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Your question doesn't sound like anything that anybody would ask in everyday life. Is it a question asked by an English teacher in order to elicit a particular answer?

If so, then you have various possibilities, For example:

  • How could you say that you had a great time?
  • What would you say if you had a great time?
  • What is another way of saying that you had a great time?

As an aside, if I had had a great time, I would probably not just say: It was fun. For me this would not be strong enough. I would say: I had a lot of fun or I had a load of fun.

  • Thanks a lot! Yes, I’ll ask this kind of questions to English learners to introduce a particular expression, in this case “It was fun.” – user286503 Apr 4 '18 at 13:14
  • By the way, “How would you say when ~” still sounds OK? but other three questions you mentioned are more proper in this kind of situation? – user286503 Apr 4 '18 at 13:25
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    "How would you say when ..." does not sound right to me. "What would you say when ..." is the best of your three possibilities. – Shoe Apr 4 '18 at 13:31
  • "How would you congratulate someone" or "How would you thank someone" would work. "How would you say "Good Luck" in "Spanish" would work... While an improvement on yours, I am not certain that Shoe's "How could you say that you had a good time" is correct or not. "How could you tell someone that you had a good time" would work. "Say" is different from "Tell" or "Explain" . It would work with"How would you say goodbye?" but a 'goodbye' or a 'hello" is a ~type~ of greeting, not a custom message. (also "thank you" or a "good luck"). Not "How would you say when you parted with someone" – Tom22 Apr 4 '18 at 19:12
  • @Tom22. Teachers have various ways of eliciting desired responses in what are known as "display questions", such as the one the OP is asking about. And you can certainly use tell (plus someone) instead of say. However, I don't think there is anything wrong with "How could you say that you had a good time". Using "could" instead of "would" suggests that there is one than one possible response. But I agree that "How would you say when you parted with someone does not work. Better is, for example, "What do you say when you part from someone?". – Shoe Apr 5 '18 at 6:43