how come

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Probably from "How did it come to be like this?" Related to Dutch hoe kom.

Adverb[edit]

how come

  1. (idiomatic, informal) Why; why is it; for what reason or purpose?
    How come you didn't leave when you had the chance?

Usage notes[edit]

"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?

Translations[edit]