I know 'How' can be replaced with 'the way' in the sentence. So, I've brought some sentences confusing me.

(I was talking about some policy the government would implement later on. And all of sudden, 3 replies came across my mind.)

  1. this is how other countries do
  2. this is the way other countries do
  3. this is what other countries do

I guess number 3 makes sense, and number 1 doesn't because it doesn't have an object. Number 2 would be wrong as well since how and the way would work in the same way. And then, what if I use the verb 'use' in the number 2?

ex) this is the way other countries use, which is correct grammatically because the way can be a noun. However, number 1 (this is how other countries use.) is not applied.

this is all I've been thinking so far. Am I correct??

  • 1
    How and the way are interchangeable, because how is the relative pronoun (or adverb, if you prefer) that requires way as its antecedent, just as why requires reason as its antecedent. Both are very limited in distribution and meaning. How is more restricted than why, however. You can say the reason he did it, why he did it, and the reason why he did it; but you can only say the way he did it and how he did it. *The way how he did it is ungrammatical, because how simply can't be used as a normal relative pronoun with an antecedent. Jun 27, 2020 at 22:15
  • You can't use the word use in example 2. Jun 28, 2020 at 9:29

1 Answer 1


This is how other countries do..................(something)

This is the way other countries do...............(something)

This is what other countries do. (nothing to add because it stands alone as a statement)

This is the way other countries use.....................(something)

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