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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Aug 30th, 2006, 04:53 pm
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Default the use of 'how come' inside a sentence

I was working with another teacher who was teaching 'how come'

'How come you are so late?'
'How come he can go but I can't?'
'How come?'

I've taught similar examples to some high school students. However, this book went on to give some examples of embedded sentences that just seemed wierd to me.

'I wonder how come she came.'
'I don't know how come he did that.'

Do these seem strange to anyone else? Is it just that it's a spoken form and looks funny written?
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Unread Aug 30th, 2006, 07:09 pm
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Default Re: the use of 'how come' inside a sentence

I wouldn't teach 'how come' at all. If students came across it themselves, I would explain what it meant of course but I am surprised it is in a book as a phrase to be learnt; it is not particularly good English. I agree with you, Mark, that the examples you've quoted are particularly bad. My advice would be to use another book!
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Unread Aug 30th, 2006, 07:11 pm
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Default Re: the use of 'how come' inside a sentence

Quote:
Quote stanley
I wouldn't teach 'how come' at all. If students came across it themselves, I would explain what it meant of course but I am surprised it is in a book as a phrase to be learnt; it is not particularly good English. I agree with you, Mark, that the examples you've quoted are particularly bad. My advice would be to use another book!
How come you are using that book Mark?
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Unread Aug 30th, 2006, 07:39 pm
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Default Re: the use of 'how come' inside a sentence

they sound a bit strange to me, too. i would substitute 'how come' with 'why':

'I wonder why she came.'
'I don't know why he did that.'

that sounds better to me.
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Unread Aug 30th, 2006, 10:33 pm
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Default Re: the use of 'how come' inside a sentence

stanley - 'how come' may be an American thing. I use it quite frequently but it is definitely very casual. I don't ever use it within a sentence, that I'm aware of, that's why it struck me as odd.

I use it a lot stand alone. - 'How come?' For that reason I teach it to my high school students. It seems to come up a lot when I'm trying to be cool and pal around with the kids.

It's actually a book produced by Japanese authors and they're trying to teach 'real' English in that text. Sometimes they stretch things a little too far. Like you said, it's not really something they 'should' know, especially at their level. (A good deal of the time, they can't even use 'why' correctly.)
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