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  • English questions with How and the first Apple computer

    Many questions in English begin with the interrogative word “how.” How do you use it? Read the story, then see the series of questions below for some examples.

    The Christie's auction computer.

    Like a lot of people these days, I’m a geek for Apple computers. Every computer I’ve purchased since 1992 has been an Apple. If I had a cell phone, it’d be an iPhone. So I was interested when I found out that later this month Christie’s will auction Apple’s first product, the Apple I personal computer, for an estimated $160,000-$240,000.

    Many consider the Apple I to be the first “personal computer.” It was also Apple’s first product offering. Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak built 200 Apple I computers by hand, in Steve Jobs’ parent’s garage. They sold for $666.66, which would be $2,500 adjusted for inflation. Although it doesn’t look like much by today’s standards (see the photos to the right), the Apple I helped to spark the home computer revolution when it was released in July 1976.

    Christie’s auction house is selling a “superb example” of the Apple I. They estimate that the price will now be between $160,000-$240,000 after bidding.

    If you should be lucky enough to win the Christie’s auction, you’ll get the Apple I in its original box with the Apple I cassette interface, and a signed letter from Apple cofounder Steve Jobs.

    The original Apple I had to be mostly assembled by the buyer, except for one important part, the motherboard, which Wozniak put together in the garage.

    Ok, and now the grammar!

    The interrogative word “how” can be used in several different ways:

    To ask about the quantity of uncountable English nouns:

    How much did the first Apple I computer cost?

    The Apple I, after assembly.

    How much will the Apple I sell for at the auction?

    How much do you think it is worth?

    To ask about the quantity of countable English nouns:

    How many Apple I computers did Steve Wozniak make?

    How many are left?

    To ask in what way, or by what manner something was done:

    How did they build a computer in a garage?

    How did Apple become such a big company?

    To ask about the condition or quality of something:

    Apple started selling computers in 1976. How is the company doing now?

    How was your trip to the Apple store?

    To ask about the extent or degree of something:

    How old is the first Apple computer?

    How long did it take the company to move out of the garage?

    As a substitute for why, when used with “come”:

    How come Apple got so popular?