How to use how come in English

How to use how come in English

In this English lesson learners are going to learn “How come?” which is a very common English expression that is important to learn. It is used all the time, but many textbooks and teachers don’t teach it, because it is informal.

In this lesson, I will teach you what “how come” means, how to use it, and when to use it.

So “how come” is a question. It is very common in informal spoken English.


We say “how come?” why something has happened.

We can say “how come?” to ask why a particular situation exists.

How come?” expresses surprised by a situation.


Emma: Do you want to attend my graduation?

Eva: No.

Emma: How come?

Eva: I need to finish some work.

Form – simple examples

If we want to simply ask “why?” we can say “How come?”

Tom: I’m not going to have lunch.

Dave: How come?

How come you’re so angry?

How come he will not go with you?

Form – Full questions

Let’s compare the form of “why” questions and “how come” questions:

Why” + sentence in question form + “?”

                “How come” + sentence in affirmative form + “?”


                Why are you staying out late?

                How come you are staying out late?

Why did you study in Paris?

                How come you studied in Paris?

                                Important: We do not conjugate “how come

                How came you studied in Paris? X

So, there we are that’s t the end of this lesson hope you enjoyed it.

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Download the PowerPoint Presentation and Word file used in this English tutorial for beginners How to use how come in English

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