Just look how many poor people are there.


Just look at how many poor people are there.

Which is correct or what's the difference?

  • Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think you would use #2 when talking about a specific group of poor people (for instance, a family) and #1 is broader (e.g. a country) – grooveplex Dec 10 '16 at 20:33

The word "look" is an intransitive verb in English. It doesn't take an object. We would say "look at how many people there are".

It would be possible to form two phrases "Just look! How many people there are." Is possible, though the second phrase is not a full sentence, compare "Look at stars" with "Look! Stars!".


We will break down the sentence into two :

  1. Just look
  2. how many poor people are there

'Just look' is in imperative form and it has a meaning of its own without any preposistion.

The second part tells us what to look for

How many poor people are there

Normally, if the sentence structure is 'Imperative form + clause that starts with who, why, when, what, how', we do not use a preposition in front of the 'WH-' word or 'HOW'


Just look how many poor people are there.

is correct.

  • The word "look" is intransitive. – James K Mar 16 '17 at 6:27

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