Question from English4Today member Khadija in Morocco

When can we use “how about” and when can we use “what about”?

Hi Khadija. This is another one of those situations, and we’ve discussed quite a few of them here, where you can use the two phrases interchangeably:

Both can be used to make suggestions.

  • How about going to see a movie tonight?
  • What about going to see a movie tonight?

Or, in the case of a non-suggestive question:

  • Is Mike going with you? How about Pete?
  • Is Mike going with you? What about Pete?
  • Have you finished cleaning your room? How about your homework?
  • Have you finished cleaning your room? What about your homework?

So, use either and the earth won’t open up and swallow you!

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