Difference Between How and Why

How vs Why

Why and how are words that are used by all of us in daily lives to ask questions. Both words make a sentence interrogative and force the other person to come up with a reply. Of course, there are similarities in answers to questions posed using how and why, but there are basic differences too that will be highlighted in this article to use the right interrogative word in a given context.

Questions beginning with how require explaining the method or procedure used whereas questions beginning with why require an explanation into the need of an object or an act. Let us take a closer look in this article.


When one asks a question using how, he is interested in knowing the method to complete a task such as in how to make a chocolate cake. How to is a phrase that is straightaway taken as a question that demands an explanation of the process. How is the word used most often by kids when talking to their parents and teachers as they are interested in getting into details.

How is the word that exemplifies the spirit of enquiry in a human being when he does not know the answers to a process or an event. There are of course variations of the meaning of how in an interrogative statement. Take a look at the following sentences.

• How do you make this recipe?

• How could such a terrible accident take place?

• How tall is he? OR How much for a kilo of grapes?

• How is Bill now?


Why is a word that is used to ask questions, especially the reasons behind an act, behaviors, event, or a natural phenomenon. The word that is used most often in reply to questions beginning with why is because. This is a word that presents the reason behind an act or behavior. Why is also used when the cause or purpose of an action is not known

Take a look at the following example.

Why did she behave in a strange manner last night?

She acted strange because she had a headache.

Why is a word that expresses surprise as when people are taken back by an event or an act and want to know the reason behind it.

How vs Why

How and why are two of the most commonly used words of English language that are used to ask questions. However, when how is used, the person asking the question is rather more interested in knowing the details or the process behind a skill such as baking, cooking, playing, driving, and so on. Why expresses surprise and the person asking the question is interested in knowing the reason behind a particular behavior or a phenomenon. When a child is asking how to do something, he is actually interested in getting a demonstration so as to learn the process. When he uses why, he wants to know why something happens the way it does.