4

1) I don't know about how you took care of her.

2) I don't know how you took care of her.

3) I am thinking of how good he will perform in the party.

4) I am thinking how good he will perform in the party.

Sometimes I am confused with these sorts of sentences thinking whether I should use "preposition " or not before "WH question " words. And what would be difference between them with preposition and without preposition before wh words?

  • If you are going to repost your question here, please delete this one on ELU. – Cascabel Dec 11 '16 at 2:32
  • There is a difference, but what difference do you think the preposition makes? If you could write what you think your different sentences mean it would help us help you. – Peter Dec 11 '16 at 2:38
  • @Peter when "wh question words are added, then I really can't differ them. it seems to me the same ". Please explain the difference to me. And when the use of preposition will be incorrect in these sorts of sentences? – dz420 Dec 11 '16 at 3:13
  • None of your sentences are "wh-" questions so it's a little confusing. Please edit your question to include examples of "wh-" questions. – Peter Dec 11 '16 at 3:22
  • @Peter I didn't mean "wh question ". It's "wh question words " such as "how " in my sentences. I think now you do understand what I want to know. – dz420 Dec 11 '16 at 3:55
1

The prepositions of and about add some indirection to the sentence. For example:

I know him
I know about him
I don't know about him
I know of him

The first means that you know him personally: the second means that you have information or experience of him. The third sentence could either mean that you don't have information about him, or that you do have information and it's not very favourable. The final sentence means that you have heard about him (you know that he exists) but you don't know him personally and don't have any information about him.


Looking at the sentences 1 and 2:

1) I don't know about how you took care of her.
2) I don't know how you took care of her.

The first sentence suggests that you don't have any information about how you took care of her: this might be used to indicate that the speaker doesn't know whether you did the job well or not.

In the second sentence, how is ambiguous: it could relate to what care was given (what specifically was done), or to how it was possible for you to give care to her (what obstacles were overcome).

The latter might be the case if both speaker and listener know that the person whom the listener took care of has in the past been unkind to the listener. For example, if she is the listener's mother, and she had an argument with the listener five years ago and hasn't spoken to her since.


For sentences 3 and 4, good is often used as an adverb in American English, but in Brtish English, we think that good is an adjective and well is the corresponding adverb. For avoidance of doubt (as the lawyers say), I have replaced good by well. The preposition in makes sense if party is a political party. If you want to talk about a social event, you would have to use the preposition at.

3) I am thinking of how well he will perform in the party.
4) I am thinking how well he will perform in the party.

Sentence 3 indicates that the speaker is in the process of assembling information about how well he will perform, and has not yet made their mind up.

In sentence 4, the speaker is stating an opinion, and almost-fact, about how well he will perform.

0

1) I don't know about how you took care of her.

  • This sentence sounds wrong.
  • "How you took care of her" is the subordinate clause here and adding a preposition in front of that is not advised

2) I don't know how you took care of her.

  • This sentence is correct

3) I am thinking of how good he will perform in the party.

  • This sentence sounds wrong.
  • "How good he will perform in the party" is the subordinate clause here and adding a preposition in front of that is not advised

4) I am thinking how good he will perform in the party.

  • This sentence is correct

Refer this link for more information on word order for "I don't know + question word" sentence structure.

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