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I found this sentence "How much did you buy the wallet? " in my English textbook.
However it feels a little bit strange to me.
Shouldn't it be something like :

How much did you buy the wallet for ?

For how much did you buy the wallet ?

Aside from being idiomatic or not, is this sentence grammatically correct ?

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    I hope it is a typo, otherwise you have a very bad book. Feb 22, 2023 at 0:09
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    More idiomatic in US English: "How much did you pay for the wallet?"
    – Sven Yargs
    Feb 22, 2023 at 0:10
  • "How much did you pay for the wallet?" is probably the least confusing wording. "How much did you buy the wallet for?" is reasonably valid wording but a hair weird. " "How much did you buy the wallet?" is not very good syntax.
    – Hot Licks
    Feb 22, 2023 at 0:13
  • How much did the wallet cost? Is perhaps the easiest and most idiomatic sounding. How much did you pay for the wallet? OR How much money did you spend?" are also correct.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Feb 22, 2023 at 12:29
  • The title does not match the examples, the 2nd says For how much… Which is rather old fashioned but it's grammatical.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Feb 22, 2023 at 12:35

2 Answers 2

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"How much did you buy the wallet?" isn't grammatically incorrect, but it doesn't make any semantic sense. It essentially means: "To what extent/degree did you buy the wallet?" This question is nonsensical, so presumably they made a mistake by not including the "for."

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  • Thank you very much!
    – Mao
    Feb 24, 2023 at 22:24
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Let's look at two sentences that have a similar structure.

  1. How much did you like the cake?
  2. How much did you buy the wallet?

In the first sentence, the phrase "how much" quantifies liking a cake. This makes perfect sense. You can like a cake a lot or you can like a cake a little.

In the second sentence, the phrase "how much" quantifies money. Let's make that clear.

How much [money] did you buy the wallet?

I think what we are really talking about is how to use the words "buy" and "money" together in a sentence.

When we use "buy" and "money" together in a sentence, we use the preposition "for".

For how much [money] did you buy the wallet?

I bought the wallet for ten dollars.

In order to make the sentence clear, it helps to use the preposition "for".

Some would argue that the preposition "for" is needed to make the sentence grammatical. Others would argue that the sentence is grammatical without the preposition "for", but that "for" is a good addition.

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    Thank you very much!
    – Mao
    Feb 24, 2023 at 22:24

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