- (idiomatic, informal) Why; why is it; for what reason or purpose?
- How come you didn’t leave when you had the chance?
“How come” differs from “why” in that the word order of the question is the same as that of a statement. Compare:
- You didn’t leave. (statement)
- How come you didn’t leave?
- Why didn’t you leave?
- ^ Eric Partridge (2005) , “how come”, in Tom Dalzell and Terry Victor, editors, The New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English, volume 1 (A–I), London; New York, N.Y.: Routledge, →ISBN.
- ^ Hegedűs, Irén; Fodor, Alexandra (2010): English Historical Linguistics 2010: Selected Papers from the Sixteenth International Conference on English Historical Linguistics, p. 179.