As you are probably aware, our contemporary English content is now available through (, and our old English dictionary site no longer exists.

As a result of this, this forum will be closed by 6th September.
We have already disabled new threads, but comments can still be posted on existing discussions to give a chance for outstanding questions to be answered.

The English dictionary community team would like the opportunity to say a huge thanks to all of you who have participated by posting questions and helping other community members.
We hope this forum has been useful, and that you have enjoyed being a part of it.

If you would like to get in touch with any OED-related queries, please write to
[email protected]

And if you would like to contribute suggestions to the OED, please do so by visiting:

Thank you very much indeed, and good bye!
The community team

How clause

Hi all,

I have been learning the how clause use and trying to understand it in the extent meaning in the following examples:

**extent ** [noun] how large, important, serious, etc. something is

  • It is difficult to assess the full extent of the damage.
    (It is difficult to assess fully how large the damage is)

  • She was exaggerating the true extent of the problem.
    (She was exaggerating truly (not truely) how important/serious the problem is)

  • I was amazed at the extent of his knowledge.
    (I was amazed at how great his knowledge is)

As what you can see in the brackets are my understanding of the meaning of extent in the examples. For the adjectives, full and true, that I converted them into the adverbs, fully and truly.

Are the bracket sentences correct?

Best Answer

  • DavidCrosbieDavidCrosbie ✭✭✭
    Accepted Answer

    You could start by substituting how extensive.
    Yes, full and true will need to become fully and truly — but not in the MAIN CLAUSE.

    • It is difficult to assess how fully extensive the damage is. (or was)
    • She was exaggerating how extensive the problem truly is. or She was exaggerating how truly extensive the problem is. (or was)
    • I was amazed at the how extensive his knowledge is. (or was)

    Then if you wish, you can choose synonyms to substitute for extensive.


Sign In or Register to comment.