0

I know that we usually say "how much does it cost" when asking for a price.

But today, I heard someone said "how much are the kidney beans?" in a store, and I don't think it's correct.

Does "How much are the kidney beans?" equal "How much do the kidney beans cost?"?

  • 2
    Yes, they mean the same thing, and it’s perfectly correct. See the ODO definition of the verb be (sense 3.1). In fact, especially with a specific subject, it is by far the more common of the two ways to ask for a price: “How much are the kidney beans?” is much more common than “How much do the kidney beans costs?”. Note that questions that can be answered by a simple dictionary lookup are considered off-topic here. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Nov 3 '18 at 16:48
  • @Janus Bahs Jacquet - “How much do the kidney beans costs?” - Of course you meant "cost" (plural) there. – Michael Harvey Nov 3 '18 at 19:20
  • @MichaelHarvey Bugger! Yes, costs was a typo; curse that five-minute edit window. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Nov 3 '18 at 20:38
2

Yes.

The Oxford English Dictionary, in its definition of be, has:

3 [as copular verb] Having the state, quality, identity, nature, role, etc., specified.

3.1 Cost.

‘the tickets were £25’

In the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary, the definition of be includes:

13 linking verb + noun to cost

“How much is that dress?” “Eighty dollars.”

The first popular culture reference that springs to mind is “(How Much Is) That Doggie in the Window?”.

  • +1 for the doggie in the window - the first thing I thought of when I saw the question. – michael.hor257k Nov 3 '18 at 16:58

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.