I am confused about that when I want to ask someone 'What is your opinion of it', I should use

  • How do you think of it? or
  • What do you think of it?

Or both above are correct?


"What do you think of it" is correct, "How..." is not. For example, "What do you think of this painting I made?"

  • Thanks a lot. I am a student from China. Our English teacher often asked us to note the difference between 'What do you think of it' and 'How do you like it'. I'm curious about wheather you also note the difference.
    – 谢卓然
    Jan 7 '17 at 8:47
  • @谢卓然 What do you think of ...' and 'How do you like ...' are either the same or so close that no one notices if you confuse the two. Also, it's spelled 'whether', not 'wheather'.
    – Pavel
    Jan 7 '17 at 9:00
  • 3
    Please edit to include an explanation of why this is correct; answers without explanation do not teach the patterns of the language well. Jan 7 '17 at 9:00
  • @NathanTuggy Yeah, I've been thinking for a while now of a good way to explain it. I'll be honest, I came here from HNQ clicked on the first post with no answer 'cause I figured it would be easy to help someone out.
    – Pavel
    Jan 7 '17 at 9:02
  • 1
    @Pavel: That's quite understandable; unfortunately, ELL is deceptively tricky for fluent speakers, especially native speakers, to answer well in, precisely because the outcome is often very easy to state, but quite hard to rationalize. Jan 7 '17 at 9:10

To ask an opinion use

What do you think (about) this painting?
What do you think of this painting?

Using "how" would ask more about one's process of thinking, not the actual thoughts.

Student: What do we know about this painting?

Teacher: To understand this picture, one must understand Van Gogh. We know it is a picture of the view from where he was living, and we know this was a very prolific period of his life. Eventhough it is a night scene, he painted it during the day, and at the time he was living in a mental asylum. How might these last two facts affect the way we think about this most famous painting? Did he paint a night scene because he was insane? He had just cut off his ear. He made 21 studies of the scene before completing the painting. How should we think about this?

  • 1
    Thanks. But can you give me some examples using 'how'?
    – 谢卓然
    Jan 7 '17 at 9:19

look X. "what do you think about earth"?

Y. "I thik it is circle".

X. "how do think of its circleness? do you believe it is true?"

so,use "how" for check up someone's perseption of something!!

we use "what" while i am asking somethong for the first time! mean that to know what he/she think of it!!!!

after we heared someone's thinking towards someting, then,use "how" with pronouns such as "him", "it", "its" instead of calling the name of the person/thing that we asked about!!

what.... about +pronoun/possesive noun what do you know about Jack/him!

how.......of + possesive adjective+noun how do you think of his mother?

or X. what do you think about love,Mr Y?

Y. I think love is a backbone of life.

X. How do you think of it Mr Z?

Z. well, I have just a similar thinking wiht Mr Y.

so, "how" is usually used for contrasting someone's persepective with others towards someting!

What is normally used to know their understanding with out being expressed!!!

we can say "how do you think it?"

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