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This is kind of a two-part question: 1) If you say "你如何喜歡你的菜?" are you asking, "how does the food taste to you" or "how do you prefer your food to be cooked"? To me it seems that if you are asking the first question it would be better to say "你的菜怎麼樣" and if you are asking the second question you should say "你如何喜歡你的菜". Or is it basically the same question either way? 2) Is there a difference between 如何 and 怎麼樣 in either meaning or usage? I feel like there is but I can't quite define what it is. (If the second part of this question is to broad, I'm happy just getting an answer to the first part.)

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    你如何喜欢你的菜 sounds almost like machine translated. As @Pedroski wrote, 你觉得这道菜怎么样? sounds much better when asking someone how they like the food they got served. 你的菜 is like 'the food you cooked, you brought along'. If you want to express the food your conversation partner is eating: 你吃的菜. In general 怎么样 should be preferred in spoken language, 如何 is a (bit) formal. – Drunken Master Aug 3 '15 at 4:51
  • That's what I was thinking--that it sounded like a machine translated sentence. Thank you for the additional information and insights. Your comment was very helpful. – Elizabeth Lyman Jensen Aug 3 '15 at 5:31
  • @DrunkenMaster can you write your comment as an answer and I will accept it? – Elizabeth Lyman Jensen Aug 3 '15 at 5:35
  • iciba翻译:how do you prefer your food to be cooked->你更喜欢吃你的食物是如何烹调的 (machine translation?) iciba翻译 sometimes produces questionable results, anything wrong in this case? – user6065 Aug 3 '15 at 7:13
  • @ElizabethLymanJensen I don't care much about the reputation points, there are already two answers to you question, others will add their comments later on. – Drunken Master Aug 3 '15 at 10:42
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I feel 你如何喜歡你的菜was machine translated for "How do you like you dish?" where "how" can be translated to either 如何 or 怎么样. As Drunken Master pointed out, 如何 is a bit formal and are more likely to be used in written, while 怎么样 are usually used in speaking.

My first thought of 你如何喜歡你的菜 was "How do you like your dish to be cooked?" as I just ordered my steak. And, medium rare please...:)

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1.Do you like this dish?

你觉得这道菜怎么样?

Question 2 would normally not be asked in China I'm told, unless maybe you have servant.

  1. How would you like this dish prepared?

    您要我怎么做这道菜?

  • Thank you for your timely answer. I read the above sentence in a book and the answer was 它是好的, which seemed like an odd response to me. So what I am trying to understand is what is the best English translation for the original sentence, rather than finding the best Chinese translation for the two English sentences. Thank you for your help. – Elizabeth Lyman Jensen Aug 3 '15 at 4:44
  • Humbly suggest the purchase of a different book which uses Chinese Chinese. – Pedroski Aug 3 '15 at 10:32
  • Luckily, the book wasn't trying to teach Chinese, it was just trying to show that the people were speaking Chinese and the author didn't bother to make sure the Chinese was correct because he didn't think any of his readers would know or care. – Elizabeth Lyman Jensen Aug 3 '15 at 18:28
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I feel that what you are asking is pretty much the difference between 怎么 (colloquial for 如何) and 怎么样. The difference is that 怎么 is used in a verbal predicate sentence, and 怎么样 for an adjectival predicate sentence:

怎么喜欢你的菜?How do you like your dish?
你的菜怎么样? How is your dish?

Just change 怎么 to 如何 and you have the same result in a more formal way.

  • Thanks to everyone for your insights on my question. You have all been very helpful and I'm satisfied that I understand now. – Elizabeth Lyman Jensen Aug 5 '15 at 14:43
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"你如何喜歡你的菜?" more sounds like "What makes you like your food?". We rarely say that. I prefer Pedroski's answer.

如何 and 怎麼樣 are nearly the same. When you ask 2 "how"s, you can use 怎么样 for the first question, 如何 for the second one. Such as: "How about this cell phone? And how about its quality?" = "这个手机怎么样?质量如何?"。

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