How you could eat that much so early?

Discussion in 'English Only' started by youngbuts, Jan 27, 2013.

  1. youngbuts Senior Member


    When I was preparing for a test, I have got the following drill question. Would you take a look at it?

    (a) A : What did you have for breakfast this morning?
    (b) B : I had kimchi, bulgogi and a bowl of rice.
    (c) A : How you could eat that much so early?
    (d) B : Why not? I have a huge appetite.

    I don't have the answer key. I'm just guessing (C) could have a wrong part in itself. But that's not because I know what exactly is wrong in (C), but because in the others I can not find any wrong part. Based on my googled results, 'how you could eat that much?' was a possible sentence. So, If (C) were wrong, I am guessing it were 'so early' that could be a wrong part. But... what is wrong with the phrase? I'm confused... Please guide me.

    Many thanks in advance!
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2013
  2. Beryl from Northallerton Senior Member

    British English
    What are you expected to do in your drill, youngbuts? Are you supposed to correct it?
  3. youngbuts Senior Member

    The drill asked me to find out a sentence containing a wrong part in itself among the four options given.
    I would like to know if 'so early' is wrong and what native speakers say in that situation, if it is wrong.
  4. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    American English
    Answer C is the problem, but it's the order of you/could. Rather than "How you could," it should be "How could you." As for so/that, it can be either way and still be correct:

    "How could you eat that much so early?"
    "How could you eat so much that early?"
  5. youngbuts Senior Member

    Thank you very much. Now I got it. :)
  6. Beryl from Northallerton Senior Member

    British English
    I agree with Copyright. The word order in C is ungrammatical as it fails to deliver the inversion that is expected in a question.

    There's nothing wrong with this use of 'so early' that wouldn't simply be a critique of style. You might say, eg. "How could you eat so much so early?" or "How could you eat that much that early?"
  7. Myridon

    Myridon Senior Member

    English - US
    Personally, I find "Why not?" a rather odd answer to "How could you?" :) If it weren't for the obvious mistake in C), I'd think D) would be the answer.
  8. Beryl from Northallerton Senior Member

    British English
    How interesting. You're not the only AE contributor today to have voiced this concern. By contrast, it doesn't trouble me at all.
  9. RM1(SS)

    RM1(SS) Senior Member

    English - US (Midwest)
    I see nothing wrong with that answer - in fact, I would use it myself in that situation. What don't you like about it?
  10. Parla Senior Member

    New York City
    English - US
    I don't see anything wrong with "Why not?" either.

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