What/How about if ...?

  1. How about if we take the 9:00 train?
  2. How about if we go to Kenting next weekend?

In the structure “What/How about + n/Ving?”, about is a preposition.

In the structure “What/How about if …?”, what part of speech is the word “about”?

The structure is very casual English, but I suppose that ‘about’ remains a preposition, making the ‘if’-clause a noun clause, like ‘I don’t know if we’ll make the train’.

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Although Mister Micawber said the structure ‘How about if’ is very casual English, I couldn’t find a definition for this phrase in any Comtemporary Dictionary.
Could you please give us a clear definition on the phrase?
Thank you very much.

It’s akin to ‘Do you agree with the idea of taking/going/etc…’

Thanks, Ms. Beeesneees.
I want to ask one more question. Can I use past tense after “How about if” in the example below?

“I don’t know what else we can do.”
" … if we formed a green group?"
A. why not
B. what for
C. only
D. how about

Many thanks.

‘How about if we formed a green group?’
would be a colloquial way of asking
‘What if we formed a green group?’

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