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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > "How many are you?"    

"How many are you?"



customer
Italy

"How many are you?"
 
Hi everybody,
one of my Italian students wrote this sentence in a dialogue: a group of people enter a restaurant and the waiter asks "How many are you?". "We are four people" they answer. It ´s a typical Italian-English translation, nothing to do with good English I guess- how could I correct it?
Thanks in advance,
Chiara

16 Jun 2009      



anitarobi
Croatia

Maybe sth like...
 
How many of you are there? ili How many of you will be having dinner?
There are four of us./There will be 4 of us.
 
But let ´s hear from others too...
 
Anita

16 Jun 2009     



miyoko71
Morocco

What about:

How many people are there?

16 Jun 2009     



Zora
Canada

"How many are you?" ... I believe, is in fact correct, if somewhat formal. Usually you might hear this question when you book a table at a restaurant or reserve seats to a fancy event like an opera or a cruise.

16 Jun 2009     



customer
Italy

Thanks a lot, all of you!

(Great, great site...)

16 Jun 2009     



hedgehog
France

´how many are you? ´ seems correct but I would answer ´we are four (persons) but not ´people ´. As far as I know, people in the plural refers to the inhabitants of a country not to individuals

16 Jun 2009     



natabut
Ukraine

I also met this very phrase in some texts. And it sounded weird to me. But as far as I understood it is al right.

16 Jun 2009     



customer
Italy

Thanks again!
 
Greetings from Italy, to all of you!
Chiara
 

16 Jun 2009     



Sandro2007
Brazil

Hi there.
When you are in a restaurant and they ask " How many people?
you can answer.
 
There are 3 of us.
 
Or you can say: Table for 3.
 
 

16 Jun 2009     



douglas
United States

=-I think Zora and Anitarobi are both right. 
 
-It would be better to ask: " How many are in your group?"
 
--"How many are you?" sounds funny, but is technically correct (the second "you" being the group of which you are a part of).
 
--"People" can mean more than just inhabitants of a country (i.e. "How many people were at your party?"); but "persons", in this case, sounds more formal/proper.--"We are four persons." or "We are a group of four". 
 
--Personally, as a native speaker, I would say: "There are four of us."
 
--My suggestion is that the student´s answer was correct, but there are better ways to say it (see above).

16 Jun 2009     



Jayho
Australia

mmm ... interesting question.
 
When I book a table at a cheaper eatery they usually say ´for how many ´ or even just two words ´how many ´!.  The more expensive that fine dining experience costs the more formal the language used, and yes it usually is ´how many are you ´ or ´how many would you like to book for ´. 
 
 

17 Jun 2009     

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