what is the difference between

how do I ask


how to ask

I am an Indian. Basically asking question we have to use "do, does and did". Please explain does How to ask make a question?


1 Answer 1


There is more than one question here. I completely understand your confusion as a non-native speaker. Because I used to make the same mistake! What we non-native speakers must learn is 'auxiliary verbs'.

Forget the sentences you quoted for a while.

Now, look at this sentence:

How you do that?

Now, most Indians (including the 'early me'!) think that this forms a question. But, it is not!. Why? Because it doesn't have an auxiliary verb -do. But in India, we speak this quite often, and furthermore, the listener understands it easily because he's also Indian!

The question should be...

How do you do that?

Do you see the added 'do' there? That's 'auxiliary verb' which is crucial for making a sentence a question. Why? Because, without double 'do's' it is just a sentence or maybe a part of sentence. Check this...

This is how you do that.

Said that, an auxiliary verb is important (what you said -'do, does, did' etc) to form a question. Unfortunately all around me don't use it even in formal talking.

Now your sentences in concern.

How do I ask?

...is a proper format of a question. 'Do' is an auxiliary verb.

How to ask

is also valid, but it forms a sentence. Not a typical question.

Here are the 10 ways on how to ask for help when in emergency
How to ask a girl whether she needs a help

Not necessarily then end with a question mark.

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