0

I went through the questions, but I didn't find an answer to this kind of sentence. Would you tell me what would be the correct sentence A or B? I had 2 beta readers and 2 answers. Thank you.

A) It was one of those last beautiful days of an Indian Summer, and the universe — or fate, you decide what to call it — had other plans for her.

B) It was one of those last beautiful days of an Indian Summer, and the universe — or fate, you decide how to call it — had other plans for her.

4
  • What is a "beta reader"? And definitely "what" not "how".
    – AIQ
    Oct 13 '19 at 9:24
  • Thank you. A 'beta reader' is a person who can read (for free or no) your manuscripts-drafts.
    – Patricia
    Oct 13 '19 at 9:53
  • I think the more common term (at least in English) for that is probably "proofreader", BTW.
    – Foogod
    Oct 13 '19 at 19:59
  • 1
    @Foogod No, it's most definitely beta reader. It's a specific industry term, and it's something completely different from a proofreader. Beta readers help authors polish their work (at a high level) before it even gets to the editing or publishing stage. Oct 14 '19 at 6:40
2

First, the direct answer to your question:

... and the universe — or fate, you decide what to call it ... (correct)

is the correct way to say this.

... and the universe — or fate, you decide how to call it ... (incorrect)

is not grammatically correct.

In English, the phrase "how to <do something>" is often explained as meaning something like "in what way", but more specifically, it almost always means more along the lines of "by what process or procedure".

As such, saying "how to call it", actually means "by what procedure you call it", which particularly in the case of the verb "call", usually means something substantially different:

Q: Do you know what to call that animal?

A: Yes, that is called an "emu".

whereas:

Q: Do you know how to call that animal?

A: No, I'm afraid I have no idea how to get it to come over here.

0

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.