How to Ask Questions in English

Written by
Tony Kaizen

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In this lesson, you will learn how to ask questions correctly in English. You will see the most common mistakes people make with these questions, and a simple way to remember how to use each question.

The questions we’re gonna focus on today are:

How long? vs How long time?

How much time? vs How many times?

First, let’s just test your current knowledge of English grammar. Which of the following sentences is correct?

How long time have you been here?

How long have you been here?

How many time have you been here?

——


How long = amount of time (minutes, hours, days, etc)


*often used with the present perfect *

How long have you been learning English?

How long have you been in the U.S.?

How long has he been a teacher?

How long have they been married?

How long have we known each other?


*Also used with the simple past*

How long did you sleep?

How long was the trip?

How long did you have to wait?


*Also used with the simple present*

How long is the movie?


——

Now, let’s talk about ‘how long time


Can I say how long time? - NO


The word and idea ‘time’ is implicit when we say ‘how long’


——

How much time =  (amount of time) - Same idea as how long, but different grammar


How much time does it take?

How much time have you waited?

How much time have you been learning English?

How much time have you been in the U.S.?

How much time has he been a teacher?

How much time have they been married?

How much time have we known each other?


——


If they’re the same, which one should I use?


HOW LONG - this is more common and more natural.


——


How many times? = (Number of times) - NOT the same as how much time


With this question, we’re asking about the number of events, not the time that has passed. You’re counting.


How many times have you been to Brazil?

How many times have you been in love?

How many times do I have to tell you?

How many times have you seen that movie?


How many times did you call her?

How LONG did you talk to her?


——

Let's review the definitions and grammar rules


How long - the most common way to ask about the duration of something or the amount of time


How long time - absolutely incorrect, we never say this


How much time - another way to ask about the duration or amount of time, but less common and less natural


How many times - asking about the number of occurrences, not the duration of the occurrence

Feel free to write some example sentences below in the comment section and I’ll let you know how they sound.

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