What kind of gas mileage do you get?

kenny4528

Senior Member
Mandarin, Taiwan
Hi, I read these dialogues from my textbook:

A: I'd like to have my car checked.
B: What make and model is your car?
A: It's a Ford Taurus.
B: What year?
A: 93
B: What kind of gas mileage do you get?
A: About 25 miles per gallon on the freeways and 20 on the city streets.
The last two lines are where I find puzzling. Is A's reply appropriate to B's? I mean, I think "How many gas mileage do you get?" makes more sense. Am I wrong?
 
  • out2lnch

    Senior Member
    English-Canada
    I don't find the original weird at all. This can be asked several different ways, but your suggestion kenny, is not one of them. The term 'mileage' implies gas mileage is what is asked, so I'd normally ask: what's the mileage like? or what kind of mileage do you get? or something to that effect.
     

    El escoces

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    Hello Kenny

    "Mileage" in English signifies "number of miles". That's why B answers with a number of miles for freeway driving, and a number of miles "in town". "What kind of mileage" is a colloquial way of saying "What mileage" or "How many miles". "Kind of", here, means nothing to do with "type of" or "sort of". Does that make sense?

    It is not correct to say "how many mileage" because mileage is non-countable. You can say either "what mileage" or "how many miles", both meaning the same thing.
     

    snowyyy

    Senior Member
    English & Hindi
    Thank you, snow. So do you find the original weird?
    Yes, I did. In the original question it is asked "what kind of gas mileage do you get?", which does not mean that you are asking the output/productivity. It rather asks what "kind", as if the person answering should have described what kind/type of gas mileage it was.
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    I did not find the original weird at all; indeed, I might have asked this question myself at some time in just this way. I certainly have heard the question asked like this. The reason the question is "What kind?" is that the response is going to indicate whether the mileage (that is, the number of miles the car can go on one gallon of gasoline) is very good, or slightly better than average, or average, or disappointing, or terrible.
     

    El escoces

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    Yes, I did. In the original question it is asked "what kind of gas mileage do you get?", which does not mean that you are asking the output/productivity. It rather asks what "kind", as if the person answering should have described what kind/type of gas mileage it was.
    It may be borderline, but with respect I think "how much mileage" is bad English.

    What kinds of gas mileage are there? To me, it's a very common way ("what kind of mileage?", I mean) of asking how many miles to the gallon you get from your car.
     

    kenny4528

    Senior Member
    Mandarin, Taiwan
    Thank you too, El, GWB and out2lnch. Could it be a matter of regional difference. It seems that snowy finds it weird.
     

    El escoces

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    The reason the question is "What kind?" is that the response is going to indicate whether the mileage (that is, the number of miles the car can go on one gallon of gasoline) is very good, or slightly better than average, or average, or disappointing, or terrible.
    In fairness to snowyyy, I now see that as a possibility. But I don't think most car users are looking for an answer like "I get great mileage!" when they ask the question - they're expecting something more specific and I think the question, as it is commonly used, is intended to invite that more specific answer.

    If you start a new job, and ask "What sort of hours will you expect me to work?", you wouldn't be expecting an answer like "Long ones", but rather an indication of your actual hours.
     

    kenny4528

    Senior Member
    Mandarin, Taiwan
    Thank you all, I think I felt confused due to the effect of my native language at first. Now I know it's a commonly used phrase.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top