What's this structure and is it common to speak like that?

  • I got into trouble yesterday, again.
  • How like you.
  • 1
    That's not exactly common, but it is in use. That's just like you would probably be more common.
    – Davo
    Apr 7, 2017 at 16:08
  • Do you also want to know the meaning, or just what it's called? It's not something you would hear all the time, but it's not unheard of either. In addition to @Davo's comment you could also say "That's so/very like you."
    – SteveES
    Apr 7, 2017 at 16:08
  • I understand the meaning, I'm more interested in the structer. Apr 7, 2017 at 16:13
  • What @Davo said. By the same token, it's less common (and very slightly poetic / affected / twee) to exclaim How odd! in contexts where most of us would say That's odd!. Apr 7, 2017 at 16:30
  • 1
    @SovereignSun - Those two statements aren't that different. "How like you" and "That is very like you" mean almost exactly the same thing.
    – stangdon
    Apr 7, 2017 at 19:07

1 Answer 1


In this sentence, how is being used with the meaning of "to what degree or amount". We often use this in questions, like "How strong are they?" but it can also be used in exclamations when we want to call attention to the degree of something, like "How cold it was!" In this context, it means something like "Note the degree of (whatever it is)."

Like here is a preposition meaning "similar to", 'in the manner of", or "has the characteristics of".

So the meaning of the entire sentence is essentially, "Note how characteristic of you that is", or, more fluently, "That is very characteristic of you."

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