How does it say correctly with exclamation?

How she looks! or What she looks!

  • What is the context or situation. Are you looking for an exclaimation when you see a beautiful girl? The sentence is not correct, and I'm not sure what you mean.
    – James K
    Nov 26, 2019 at 22:59
  • @JamesK I mean as you said, "when you see a beautiful girl". Why it's not correct?
    – Boyep
    Nov 27, 2019 at 11:57

2 Answers 2


Neither can be correct as an exclamation.

There are some idiomatic exclamations which seem similar:

What a goal!

This has the form "What a (noun)". But your attempt isn't in this form.

How about that!

Your examples:

How she looks.

This isn't an exclamation. It is a little noun phrase meaning "The way that she appears". But it doesn't tell you anything about her appearance.

What she looks

Is not correct. You could say "What she eats" (a noun phrase meaning "the thing that she eats") because the verb "eat" has an object. But the verb "look" is intransitive, it has no object. "What she looks" is incorrect grammar.

Now, for your situation. Firstly its rude to comment about people. So often the "correct" thing to do is to keep your mouth shut. In the sort of casual situation you might comment on a girl looking good, there would be lots of unspoken communication. The exclamation "wow", in context, could mean "she's beautiful" or "she's weird" or even "she's ugly"

See that girl by the bar? Wow!

Now suppose you just want to tell someone that a girl looks great. There is no need for some clever idiom.

She looks great!

(But remember, commenting about people is often rude)

  • But why 'How he plays football!' is correct, as said in comments to my question? ell.stackexchange.com/questions/230114/exclamations-with-verb
    – Boyep
    Nov 27, 2019 at 21:18
  • 1
    I wouldn't say "How he plays football" as an exclamation. Its a noun phrase. You can exclaim it, it might even be understood (in context) but it doesn't seem very idiomatic to me.
    – James K
    Nov 27, 2019 at 21:25

Every sentence needs a verb.

Neither of those have one, so they are both not really normal grammatical sentences.

But we say them anyhow! Speakers of English might say "How great she looks!" in conversation, but this is really more like a shortened form of the question "How great does she look?", except it does not expect an answer.

You really need an adjective between "how" and the subject to use that form: "How great she looks!" "How pretty she looks!" "How awful she looks!", and so on.

How she looks!

is also correct, but less common and a little stilted or awkward.

What she looks

is never correct, in any way, and no one will understand what you mean. Don't say this.

We would not use these exclamations in formal writing, only conversation or conversational writing.

  • 1
    Surely looks is a verb! "How [adjective] she looks!" and "What [a noun] she looks!" are perfectly normal exclamations and not modified questions. e.g. "What a mess she looks!" "What a fool she looks!" Nov 26, 2019 at 20:48
  • Sure as a word, 'looks' is a verb, but it is part of a dependent clause here. Remove the exclamation point, and you surely have half a sentence - more precisely there is no S/V verb, just the clause "how she looks" which otherwise functions as a noun phrase. A more extreme example of how exclamations defy "normal" grammar and drop verbs: "What a pity!" Perfectly "good", but no verb whatsoever.
    – BadZen
    Nov 26, 2019 at 20:56
  • It's hard to try and both explain things absolutely accurately and not use extremely complex sentences here. :p
    – BadZen
    Nov 26, 2019 at 20:56

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