On a forum about English grammar, a user (a native speaker) wrote that the sentence below is not grammatically OK. Can you please explain to me why not?

This is the only chance how to win money.

  • 1
    Please add some context or explanation so that we can better understand what you want to express with that sentence. (What were the few sentences in the conversation preceding the sentence? What does "this" refer to?) – 200_success Sep 19 '14 at 18:50
  • "This is the only way to win money." I think that's what the sentence is trying to convey, and that's how I'd say it. – J.R. Sep 19 '14 at 23:43
  • Context is very important. Without any context, we can only guess. Here is my first impression after reading the line: I think they were trying to say, "This is the only chance you can win some money." – Damkerng T. Dec 19 '14 at 0:32

Not only is this sentence grammatically incorrect, it doesn't portray whatever you're trying to say very well. I assume it's something along the lines of "This is the only chance we'll have to win money," but I can't be very sure.

The word "how" typically refers to the methodology involved in doing something. Asking "how" means you want to know the series of steps that occurred leading up to something else. The only non-interrogative usage of "how" I can think of off the top of my head is in a title, such as "How To Train Your Dragon," or in reference to a previously-asked question ("I'll show you how to do that.").

I can't give you a correct version of what you're trying to say without knowing more, though, since that sentence simply doesn't mean anything concrete.

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.