Posted by: Idioma Extra | March 23, 2011

Thursday Tidbit


How come…?

A very common, but informal way of asking “Why?” among native English speakers is to use “How come?” Questions with “How come?” do not follow the normal QWASVO structure. Simply add “How come” to the statement or thing you want to ask about. However, it is generally only used for questions about the past. Here are some examples:

Why didn’t John come to the party.?  > How come John didn’t come to the party? (OK)

Why did Junior eat all the pizza?  > How come Junior ate all the pizza? (OK)

Why will she arrive late? >  How come she will arrive late? (Not OK)

Why are they writing a novel?  >  How come they are writing a novel? (Not OK)

Check Yourself

Look at the following “Why” questions and try to change them using “How come.” Then determine if the question is OK or Not OK based on the verb tense. Here is an example:

Why did return early from the party?   >  How come he returned early from the party? _OK_

1. Why did she buy a new car?

How come __________________________________________________.   ___

2. Why did they change their mind?

How come __________________________________________________.  ___

3. Why will you change schools?

How come __________________________________________________.  ___

4. Why didn’t you return my call?

How come __________________________________________________.  ___

5. Why weren’t you at the meeting?

How come __________________________________________________.  ___

6. Why are you walking so fast?

How come__________________________________________________.  ___

7. Why didn’t you bring more food to the party?

How come __________________________________________________.  ___

8. Why haven’t you been studying English?

How  come __________________________________________________.  ___

Answers to last week’s Check Yourself

Underline the correct expression to complete the sentence.

1. I need someone to (take care of / care about) my house while I’m on vacation.

2. When you are traveling, you need to (care about / watch out for) people that want to steal your money.

3. I really don’t (care about / take care of) what beach we go to. I just want to leave San Jose!

4. I told her to (care about / watch out for) sharks in the water while swimming.

5. Most people don’t (take care of / care about) things that happen in other places in the world.

6. You should (watch out for / take care of) your belonging when traveling on the bus.

7. My brother never has any money. That’s why he needs to (watch out for / take care of) his money better.

8. I will (take care of / care about) the situation as soon as I return.

9. I don’t think politicians really (care about / watch out for) the people that vote for them.

10. Please (take care of / watch out for) sharp objects when walking on the beach.


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