How to ask about folder size


In an email message, which would be better to say:

How much is the folder size?


What is the folder size?

Linda Maroun

Posted 2017-08-22T21:35:37.953

Reputation: 39

@userr2684291 - While I appreciate the irony, I think this "discrepancy" may provide a clue about intent. Perhaps the O.P. wants the to write the email using conversational English, and wants to know which of the two options sounds more natural. – J.R. – 2017-08-22T22:02:57.000

@J.R. Haha, yeah. I was in the middle of checking their post history but I got sidetracked. Linda: I'll edit the tags, and you can revert the edit if you find it at variance with your original intent. – None – 2017-08-22T22:12:05.807



How much? asks for a quantity, and suggests you're asking the price of the folder. Ordinarily we say

What size is the folder? if we are asking for a 'stock' size (e.g., 'letter' or 'legal'), or
How big is the folder? if we are asking for dimensions.

These are usual with most 'primary' qualities, such as size, color, height, length, weight and the like.

What color is your umbrella?
How tall is Bob?
What length plank or How long a plank do you need?
What weight does he box at? or How heavy is he?

StoneyB on hiatus

Posted 2017-08-22T21:35:37.953

Reputation: 176 469

1What if the folder they're talking about is a directory in a file system; e.g., on a hard drive? – None – 2017-08-22T23:32:55.883

2@userr2684291 "How big is the folder?" -- assuming that you're asking for a measurement of its contents, so many mb, which we think of as a 'volume' not a 'quantity'. – StoneyB on hiatus – 2017-08-22T23:38:48.913

1I've been practicing 'What is the size of the folder?' Any difference? Pronoun + auxiliary? or Pronoun + adjective? – Maulik V – 2017-08-23T03:22:33.500

@MaulikV - Your option sounds fine to me. – J.R. – 2017-08-23T13:43:07.107