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rú hé
pro. how, what, how or what about
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Synonym of 怎么
如何 vs 怎么

1. When asking the manner in which an action is carried out, we can use both 怎么 and 如何. In spoken Chinese, 怎么 is used more often. 如何 is more formal. Compare these two sentences below -- the 1st sentence is more formal than the 2nd one:
你通常如何处理別人的批评? [phr] How do you normally handle criticism from others?
你通常怎么处理別人的批评? [phr] How do you normally handle criticism from others?

2. When asking for a reason, we can only use 怎么. We cannot use 如何:
Example 2. 你怎么不穿鞋就出来了? [phr] Why did you come out without your shoes?

3. When expressing a surprised tone, we can only use 怎么. And it has to appear independently in a sentence.
Example 3. 怎么,你现在就得走? [phr] What? You have to go now?

4. When asking for the opinion of the interlocutor, we can use 如何 at the end of a suggestion. 怎么 cannot be used in this way:
Example 4. 感觉九寨沟如何? [phr] How do you like Jiuzhaigou?

5. When forming a rhetorical question, both 怎么 and 如何 can be used, but once again 如何 sounds more formal.
Example 5. 您帮了我这么大的忙,我怎么/如何能不感激您呢? [phr] (with respect) You have done me such a big favour. How could I not be grateful to you?

6. When asking for a situation, a condition, or the nature of someone/something, we use both 怎么 and 如何 but certain conditions exist in the position of the word in the sentence.
如何 can appear in the position of a predicate (6a) or a complement (6b):
E.g. 6a 今天天气如何? [phr] How is the weather today?
E.g. 6b 昨天你考得如何? [phr] How was your exam yesterday?

怎么 can be used in the position of an attributive modifier; 如何 cannot.
E.g.6c 她是怎么一个人?

When forming a question asking for the general situation, we only use 怎么:
E.g. 6d 怎么了? [phr] What's the matter? What's wrong?
What other words can I use in place of 如何 (rúhé) with a similar meaning?
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