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what
adjective , pronoun
1 used in questions, indirect questions and statements identifying, or seeking to identify or classify, a thing or person What street are we in? Tell me what flowers these are I've just realized what man you meant .
2 used in exclamations expressing surprise, sympathy or other emotions What! You didn't pass? What a fool! What she has to put up with!
3 used as a relative pronoun or adjective: that or those which; whatever; anything that It is just what I thought They gave what money they could .
4 used to introduce a suggestion or new information I know what ? let's go to the zoo!
5 used to ask for a repetition or confirmation of something said What? I didn't catch what you said .
adverb used in questions, indirect questions and statements: to how great an extent or degree? What does that matter?
[Anglo-Saxon hwæt ]
give someone what for colloq to scold or punish them.
know what it is to know and understand what is involved in a particular action or experience; to have experienced or suffered it He knows what it is to be bullied .
know what's what colloq to know what really goes on or what counts, etc; to know the truth of the matter.
so what? or what of it? colloq why is that important?
what about?? an expression used to make a suggestion or ask an opinion, etc What about stopping for a drink first?
what?for? for what reason?? to what purpose?? What did you do that for?
what have you colloq other such things; whatnot CDs, records, tapes or what have you .
what if??
1 what would it matter if?? What if she did leave for good?
2 what would happen if?? What if he doesn't come back?
what is more or what's more more to the point?; in addition?; They came, and what's more, they stayed all evening .
what?like? a request for a description or opinion on someone or something What does he look like? What was the theatre like?
what next? often said in despair: what is to be done next? what will happen next?
what now?
1 what can be done now? what other options are there?
2 what is the meaning of this latest interruption? what is wrong now?
what of??
1 what comes or follows from??
2 what is the news of??
what of it? see so what? above.
what the hell an expression of indifference or abandoned caution Oh what the hell, I'll buy both of them .
what then? what would be the consequence?
what's new? colloq
1 tell me the latest news.
2 there's nothing new about that! She's drunk again. So what's new!
what's up? what's the matter? is something wrong?
what's with?? colloq what's the matter with??
what with because of?; taking account of? We were exhausted, what with the delays and everything .

what || What and which may both be used when asking questions about a choice: What/Which is the best way to cook rice? Which generally implies a choice from a known or limited number of options, whereas what is used when the choice is unlimited or unspecified. || Take care not to add a what after than in comparative constructions such as He can play faster than I can . What should only follow than when it means -that which- or -the things which-: Those are better than what we saw in the shops yesterday .



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