Learn English – “How” vs. “that” in “You know how we have pizza on Thursdays, right?”

conjunctionsdifferences

From time to time I hear sentences like this:

You know how we have pizza on Thursdays, right?

Here, how doesn't mean exactly how those guys eat pizza, it is something like "that" in this context.

So what is the difference between using how, that or just skipping the conjunction?

Best Answer

I think, fundamentally, the underlying meaning is the same. The difference is in the emphasis and softening a rebuke in this example, perhaps.

“You know that we have pizza on Thursdays, right?” - is almost a rebuke (without context it sounds that way at least). It is the fact that is significant here - a point is being addressed.

“You know how we have pizza on Thursdays, right?” sounds more like either an excuse is coming or a change of plan. ‘That’ could also signify the change of plan, but it is then more formal/significant.

Whereas dropping the conjunction, “You know we have pizza on Thursdays, right?” sounds more like a mild rebuke, or perhaps a memory jog.

To me, without context, this is what I hear...

“You know that we have pizza on Thursdays, right? Well, in comes Bob with Chinese takeaway. On a Thursday!”

“You know how we have pizza on Thursdays, right? Well, for a change I thought we’d try that new Italian rather than The Hut”

“Your mum is coming on Thursday? You know we have pizza on Thursdays, right?”