Dear all,

Here is a confusing question waiting for you to answer.

Do you know __________ to fix a computer?
(A) how (B) where (C) what

The answer, I think, should be (A). But could (B) be the answer to the question?

Do you know how you can fix a computer?
--> Do you know how to fix a computer?

Do you know where you can fix a computer?
--> Do you know where to fix a computer?

I know (C) is inappropriate because the verb "fix" cannot have the object "what" as well as another object "computer".

Thanks a lot for your explanation!


Last edited {1}
Original Post
Answer (A) is the correct one. Answer (B) would be correct only in unusual circumstances. Answer (C), as Erik says, is clearly wrong.

The test question asks about the skill or knowledge possessed by the person addressed. If it is aimed at ascertaining the person's skill, the answer is "how to." It is the person addressed that is the understood subject of "to fix."

Answer (B) would be about the addressee's knowledge, not his or her skill. It would assume that the addressee has the required skills and would be about a location. The word "where" would refer to a location of facility at which the person addressed would him- or herself do the "fixing." From what I know about computer repair, it is usually done by a technician, either at the home, at the place of business, or at a computer repair facility. A computer owner/user who has the necessary technical skills does not normally need a different location in which to carry out the repairs, but it is conceivable.

If the owner/user does not have the requisite technical skills "” if the idea is for the repair to be done by a different person at a different location "” the sentence would have to be

"” Do you know where to get/have a computer fixed?


Add Reply

Link copied to your clipboard.