Ellipsis: How can I "verb1"... or [how] "verb2" ...


Senior Member

How can I describe my emotions at this catastrophe, or how delineate the wretch whom with such infinite pains and care I had endeavored to form?
From Frankenstein by Mary Shelly

Why did the writer choose to repeat how? Is it matter of style/personal choice or is it more idiomatic English? In patterns like in the titles which way is more common among native speakers?
  • velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    It's a rhetorical question, and in a style appropriate to the time it was written in. I don't think it's a pattern to imitate.