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I was wondering whether the two phrases "How do you like..." and "What do you think of..." mean the same in the following examples. If the don't, then please kindly explain their nuances to me:

1- How do you like him? --- What do you think of him?
2- How do you like this plain shirt? --- What do you think of this plain shirt?
3- How do you like going to the movies tonight? --- What do you think of going to the movies tonight?

I think they exactly mean the same thing, and can be utilized to ask listener's opinion about someone, something or doing something. Please correct if I'm mistaken.

In addition to that, I have my doubts if both structures can be used with asking someone's opinion about "someone else" or "something" or "doing something"! Please do me a favor and elaborate on them. Thank you in advance.

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    In my opinion, "How do you like..." expects a favourable answer (on the lines of either "A lot" or "Not very much"), while "What do you think of..." is more open-ended. Of course, it would still be possible to answer "I don't like it at all". Nov 10 '20 at 9:42
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The only one of these that I think is incorrect is:

"How do you like going to the movies tonight?"

That one is asking about an event in the future and while a native speaker would probably understand your meaning, no native speaker would say it this way.

Your alternative, "What do you think of going to the movies tonight?" is a much better option.

As far as the other two, they are essentially the same since you are asking the question about something that can be evaluated currently. So it's acceptable to ask either "do you like?" or "what do you think of?" interchangeably.

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They can be the same when describing an action, one fits better than the other but they are the same in that way. But they can vary when describing an object, here's how they vary object-wise. (I tried my best when describing them.)

"How do you like..." is used to ask someone how they enjoy something or in which way something is prepared or what form it is in. In a conversation, it'll probably go something like this...

"How do you like your eggs, Name ?" Name answers, "I like them scrambled or over-easy." (Another example is, "How do you like your T-shirts, Name?" Name responds, "I like them cotton, not polyester.")

"What do you think of..." is used to describe your feeling toward a thing. The conversation in which that is used will probably go like this...

"What do you think of eggs, Person?" Person says, "I think eggs are gross, the flavor isn't good to me." (Another example is, " What do you think of T-shirts, Person?" Person explains, "I think that T-shirts are great, it just depends on the design, material, and time of year.")

Basically, material-wise, "How do you like..." is used to ask someone in what form do they enjoy something in or how they enjoy it. "What do you think of..." is asking their opinion of that said item.

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  • How do you like... can indeed be used in this sense, but it can also be used to ask someone's opinion of something, for example "How do you like my new dress?" Nov 10 '20 at 9:38
  • @KateBunting yes but I was describing it using the examples that they gave like an item that no one owns just that object in general. Nov 10 '20 at 16:44

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