I have a question about (of + how) In those sentence,

It's just a realistic assessment of how the world works.

that they're learning, is positive evidence of how that language works.

I wouldn't tell the story of how I paid for college,

"Talk to me about the mechanics of how you did what you did."

the question of how could we study this stuff scientifically?

Mayors are considering that idea of how you can actually

To me, I do not know why I need "of" before "how" It makes sense to me even though without "of" before how Can someone explain to me or tell me what kind of grammar I need to study?

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    You need preposition of because it carries the sense of concerning, about. And you also need how because in every case, the "subject noun" that concerning, about refers to is how = the way in which [something happens]. It may not be the most idiomatic way of saying it, but I think in all your examples it's quite possible to replace of how with concerning the way in which. Commented Jan 23, 2022 at 17:12
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    There is some disagreement among grammarians as to whether the how expressions in examples like yours are relative clauses or subordinate interrogative ones. In the relative reading, the how expressions are noun phrases functioning as object complement of the preposition "of". In the interrogative reading, "how" is an adverb and they are subordinate interrogative clauses functioning as complement of "of" (cf. "It's just a realistic assessment of the answer to the question 'How does the world work?'"
    – BillJ
    Commented Jan 23, 2022 at 18:03

1 Answer 1


You need the preposition of because that is how words like idea, story, assessment, evidence, question, connect to their complements.

While FumbleFingers' argument about the meaning of the connection has some mnemomic usefulness, in the end the question of what preposition is required by a particular word is not reliably rule-governed or predictable. Those words that you used take of; argument takes about; discussion can take either.

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