Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: how vs what do you call sth

  1. #1
    Почтенный гражданин
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    612
    Rep Power
    10

    how vs what do you call sth

    So, what is the proper way of asking if you want to know the name of something?
    Is it "How do you call it?" or "What do you call it?"?

  2. #2
    Завсегдатай rockzmom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    East Coast, United States
    Posts
    2,185
    Rep Power
    14

    Re: how vs what do you call sth

    Quote Originally Posted by kamka
    So, what is the proper way of asking if you want to know the name of something?
    Is it "How do you call it?" or "What do you call it?"?
    Hi Kamka,

    I think the term "proper" might depend upon where you are and who you are speaking with. If the person is someone you know very well or someone you don't know.

    If I was being very formal I might say, "What is this?" or "What's the name of this?" and point to it as well.
    But if was speaking with someone in my family or with friends, I would be less formal and say, "What's this?"

    I hope that this helps,
    RockzMom.
    I only speak two languages, English and bad English.
    Check out the MasterRussian Music Playlist
    Click here for list of Russian films with English subtitles and links to watch them.

  3. #3
    Почтенный гражданин
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    612
    Rep Power
    10

    Re: how vs what do you call sth

    no, no, I'm talking about the particular structure "How/What do you call it?".
    See, I remember asking this guy I knew "How do you call the thing you carry babies in" (I meant a pram, did not know the English word for it), and he answered "Come here the thing you carry babies in, come here" and then told me you're meant to say "WHAT do you call...". But, the thing is, up until now I think I've heard about a million people using both of the structures equally often and I simply got confused - is there a difference between the questions, or is one of them incorrect, despite being widely used?

    Thanks for the answer anyway, though

  4. #4
    Завсегдатай
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Mowcow, Russia
    Posts
    1,957
    Rep Power
    11

    Re: how vs what do you call sth

    I'd go with "What do you call it."
    While the other construction (not "structure" ) is not incorrect from the grammatical viewpont, it is better used, for example, in the following phrases: "How do you call Russia from Poland?" (i.e., what is the procedure for making a phone call), or "How do you call a meeting?" (i.e., what is the proper procedure for calling a meeting), etc.

  5. #5
    Завсегдатай chaika's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Чапелхилловка, NC USA
    Posts
    1,987
    Rep Power
    15

    Re: how vs what do you call sth

    What do you call this? What is this called? What is this?

    Don't use "how"- we don't use "how" in this way.

    - What do you call your dog?
    - Phydeaux.

    - How do you call your dog?
    - Hey, ya mangy mutt, gitcher tail over here!

  6. #6
    Завсегдатай rockzmom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    East Coast, United States
    Posts
    2,185
    Rep Power
    14

    Re: how vs what do you call sth

    Quote Originally Posted by kamka
    no, no, I'm talking about the particular structure "How/What do you call it?".
    I am sooooo sorry that I misunderstood your question; however, I think it has been answered now.
    Take care,
    Rockzmom.
    I only speak two languages, English and bad English.
    Check out the MasterRussian Music Playlist
    Click here for list of Russian films with English subtitles and links to watch them.

  7. #7
    Почтенный гражданин
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    612
    Rep Power
    10

    Re: how vs what do you call sth

    thanks everyone, greatly appreciated

Similar Threads

  1. phone call
    By Евгения Белякова in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: October 29th, 2008, 09:02 AM
  2. Call us for....
    By TATY in forum Translate This!
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: April 22nd, 2008, 10:55 AM
  3. What to say when you call someone in Russia
    By Stars in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 23
    Last Post: August 2nd, 2006, 05:45 PM
  4. How to call a man or a woman from the KGB ?
    By Mordan in forum Grammar and Vocabulary
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: April 19th, 2006, 04:57 AM
  5. Why we call ourselves Români (Romanians)
    By dacodava in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: May 25th, 2005, 12:35 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  


Russian Lessons                           

Russian Tests and Quizzes            

Russian Vocabulary