Then she changed her desk into a pig and back again. They were all very impressed and couldn't wait to get started, but soon realized they weren't going to be changing the fur-niture into animals for a long time. After taking a lot of complicated notes, they were each given a match and started trying to turn it into a needle. By the end of the lesson, only Hermione Granger had made any difference to her match; Professor McGonagall showed the class how it had gone all silver and pointy and gave Hermione a rare smile.

–– Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

I guess how is an intensifier in the sentence (OALD #5; similar to what #3). So the sentence would mean McGonagall showed the class Hermione’s match had gone all silver and pointy really fantastic. Is this right or do I have see other ways?

1 Answer 1


It's definition 1 in the dictionary you link to, "in what way or manner". You can replace it with that and the sentence will be approximately the same:

Professor McGonagall showed the class that it had gone all silver and pointy

The uses of how and what you describe (OALD how #5 and what #3) can't appear in this position. They appear in exclamative phrases.

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