(redirected from what's)


 (wŏt, wŭt, hwŏt, hwŭt; wət, hwət when unstressed)
a. Which thing or which particular one of many: What are you having for dinner? What did she say?
b. Which kind, character, or designation: What are these objects?
c. One of how much value or significance: What are possessions to a dying man?
a. That which; the thing that: Listen to what I tell you.
b. Whatever thing that: come what may.
3. Informal Something: I'll tell you what.
4. Nonstandard Which, who, or that: It's the poor what gets the blame.
1. Which one or ones of several or many: What college are you attending? You should know what musical that song is from.
2. Whatever: They soon repaired what damage had been done.
3. How great; how astonishing: What a fool!
How much; in what respect; how: What does it matter?
That: I don't know but what I'll go.
1. Used to express surprise, incredulity, or other strong and sudden excitement.
2. Chiefly British Used as a tag question, often to solicit agreement.
or what
Informal Used as an intensive at the end of a question: Is he crazy, or what? Are you a genius, or what?
what for
1. A scolding or strong reprimand: The teacher gave the tardy student what for.
2. For what reason; why: Give the present back.—What for?
what have you
What remains and need not be mentioned: a room full of chairs, lamps, radios, and what have you.
what if
1. What would occur if; suppose that: What if we were rich?
2. What does it matter if: What if he gets angry?—I don't care.
what it takes
The necessary expertise or qualities needed for success: She has what it takes to be a doctor.
what's what Informal
The fundamentals and details of a situation or process; the true state or condition.
what's/what is/what is it with Informal
1. What is the reason for: What's with the gloomy look?
2. What is causing the unusual behavior of: What's with you today?
3. What is interesting, unusual, or worth making an observation about: What's with airline food these days?
what with
Taking into consideration; because of: It's strange we can't find a cab, what with so many hotels nearby.

[Middle English, from Old English hwæt; see kwo- in Indo-European roots.]
Usage Note: When what is the subject of a clause, it takes a singular verb if the word or phrase that completes the sentence (the complement) is singular, as in I see what seems to be a dead tree. It is plural if a plural noun or noun phrase completes the sentence, as in He sometimes makes what seem to be gestures of reconciliation. · Clauses with what as either subject or object may themselves be the subject of a sentence, and sometimes it is difficult to decide whether the verb of the main clause should be singular or plural. When the what in the what-clause is the object of the verb and the complement of the main clause is singular, the main verb is always singular: What they wanted was a home of their own; when the complement of the main sentence is plural, the verb is most often plural: What American education needs are smaller classes, though one also encounters sentences such as What the candidate gave the audience was the same old empty promises. When what is the subject of a what-clause that is the subject of a main clause, there is greater variation in usage. When the verb of the what-clause and the complement of the main clause are both plural or both singular, the number of the verb of the main clause generally agrees with them. When the verb in the what-clause is singular and the complement in the main clause is plural, one finds both singular and plural verbs being used. Sentences similar to both of the following are found in respected writers: What drives me crazy is her frequent tantrums; What bothers him are the discrepancies in their accounts. When the complement of the main clause consists of two or more nouns, the verb of the main clause is generally singular if the nouns are singular and plural if they are plural: What pleases the voters is his honesty and his willingness to take on difficult issues; On entering the harbor what first meet the eye are luxurious yachts and colorful villas. Occasionally the choice of a singular or plural verb may be used to convey a difference in meaning. In the sentence What excite him most are money and power, the implication is that money and power are separable goals; in What excites him most is money and power, the implication is that money and power are inextricably bound together. See Usage Note at which.


(wɒt; unstressed wət)
a. used with a noun in requesting further information about the identity or categorization of something: what job does he do?.
b. (as pronoun): what is her address?.
c. (used in indirect questions): does he know what man did this?; tell me what he said.
a. the (person, thing, persons, or things) that: we photographed what animals we could see.
b. (as pronoun): bring me what you've written; come what may.
3. (intensifier; used in exclamations): what a good book!.
in what respect? to what degree?: what do you care?.
4. not standard which, who, or that, when used as relative pronouns: this is the man what I saw in the park yesterday.
5. what about what do you think, know, feel, etc, concerning?
6. what for
a. for what purpose? why?
b. informal a punishment or reprimand (esp in the phrase give (a person) what for)
7. what have you someone, something, or somewhere unknown or unspecified: cars, motorcycles, or what have you.
8. what if
a. what would happen if?
b. what difference would it make if?
9. what matter what does it matter?
10. what's what informal the true or real state of affairs
informal don't you think? don't you agree?: splendid party, what?.
[Old English hwæt; related to Old Frisian whet, Old High German hwaz (German was), Old Norse hvatr]
Usage: The use of are in sentences such as what we need are more doctors is common, although many people think is should be used: what we need is more doctors


(ʰwʌt, ʰwɒt, wʌt, wɒt; unstressed ʰwət, wət)

1. (used interrogatively as a request for specific information): What is the matter?
2. (used interrogatively to inquire about the character, occupation, etc., of a person): What does he do?
3. (used interrogatively to inquire as to the origin, identity, etc., of something): What are those birds?
4. (used interrogatively to inquire as to the worth, usefulness, force, or importance of something): What is wealth without friends?
5. (used interrogatively to request a repetition of words or information not fully understood, usu. used in elliptical constructions): You need what?
6. (used interrogatively to inquire the reason or purpose of something, usu. used in elliptical constructions): What of it?
7. how much?: What does it cost?
8. (used relatively to indicate that which): I will send what was promised.
9. whatever; anything that: Come what may.
10. the kind of thing or person that: She said just what I was expecting.
11. as much as; as many as: We should each give what we can.
12. the thing or fact that (used in parenthetic clauses): He went to the meeting and, what was worse, insisted on speaking.
13. (used to indicate more to follow, additional possibilities, alternatives, etc.): You know what?
14. (used as an intensifier in exclamatory phrases, often fol. by an indefinite article): What luck! What an idea!
15. Brit. don't you agree?: An unusual chap, what?
16. Nonstandard. that; which; who: She's the one what told me.
17. the true nature or identity of something, or the sum of its characteristics: the whats and hows of crop rotation.
18. (used interrogatively before nouns): What clothes shall I pack?
19. whatever: Take what supplies you need.
20. to what extent or degree? how much?: What does it matter?
21. (used to introduce a prepositional phrase beginning with with): What with storms and all, their return was delayed.
22. (used in exclamatory expressions, often fol. by a question): What, no kiss?
23. Older Use. as much as; as far as: He helps me what he can.
1. but what, Informal. but that: Who knows but what the sun may still shine.
2. so what, (an expression of disinterest, disinclination, or contempt.)
3. what for,
a. why: What are you doing that for?
b. a punishment or scolding: My mother will give me what for if I come home late again.
4. what have you, other things of the same kind; so forth: money, jewels, and what have you.
5. what if, what would be the outcome if; suppose that: What if we get lost?
6. what it takes, whatever characteristics or aids will insure one's success, as intelligence, talent, good looks, or wealth.
7. what's what, the true situation; all the facts: Ask someone who knows what's what.
[before 900; Middle English; Old English hwæt, c. Old Saxon huat, Old High German (h)waz, Old Norse hvat, Gothic hwa, Latin quod, Skt kād]
usage: See doubt.


1. asking for information

You use what when you are asking for information about something. You can use what as a pronoun or a determiner.

When you use what as a pronoun, it can be the subject, object, or complement of a verb. It can also be the object of a preposition.

What happened to the crew?
What is your name?

When what is the object of a verb, it is followed by an auxiliary verb, the subject, and then the main verb. When what is the object of a preposition, the preposition usually goes at the end of the question.

What did she say then?
What did he die of?
2. used as a determiner

When you use what as a determiner, it usually forms part of the object of a verb.

What books can I read on the subject?
What car do you drive?

Be Careful!
Don't use 'what' when your question involves a choice from a limited number of people or things. For example, if someone has hurt their finger, don't ask 'What finger have you hurt?' Say 'Which finger have you hurt?'

When you get your daily paper, which page do you read first?
Which department do you want?

You use what when you are asking about the time.

What time is it?
What time does their flight get in?
3. used in reported clauses

What is often used in reported clauses.

I asked her what had happened.
I find it difficult to understand what people are saying.
4. 'what...for'

You use what with for when you are asking about the purpose of something. You put what at the beginning of the question and for at the end of it. For example, 'What is this tool for?' means 'What is the purpose of this tool?'

What are those lights for?

In conversation, you can also use what with for to ask about the reason for something. You can say, for example, 'What are you looking at me for?' This means 'Why are you looking at me?'

What are you asking him for?
5. 'what if'

You use what if to ask what should be done if a particular difficulty occurs. For example, 'What if the bus doesn't come?' means 'What shall we do if the bus doesn't come?'

What if it's really bad weather?
What if this doesn't work out?
6. 'what about'

You use what about to remind someone of something, or to draw their attention to something. What about is followed by a noun phrase.

What about the other names on the list?
What about your breakfast?

Be Careful!
When you ask someone a question beginning with what about you are often expecting them to do something, rather than answer your question.

What about this bag – aren't you taking it?
7. used in relative clauses

What is sometimes used at the beginning of a special kind of relative clause called a nominal relative clause. This kind of clause functions like a noun phrase; it can be the subject, object, or complement of a verb, or the object of a preposition. In a nominal relative clause, what means 'the thing which' or 'the things which'.

What he said was perfectly true.
They did not like what he wrote.
I am what is known as a light sleeper.
That is a very good account of what happened.

People often use a nominal relative clause in front of is or was to focus attention on the thing they are about to mention.

What I need is a lawyer.
What impressed me most was their sincerity.

A similar type of clause consists of what followed by the subject and do. After a clause like this, you use be and an infinitive structure with or without to. For example, instead of saying 'I wrote to George immediately', you can say 'What I did was to write to George immediately'.

What Stefan did was to interview a lot of people.
What you need to do is choose five companies to invest in.

Be Careful!
Don't use 'what' in defining or non-defining relative clauses. Don't say, for example, 'The man what you met is my brother' or 'The book what you lent me is very good'. Use who, which, or that, or don't use a relative pronoun at all. For example, say 'The man who you met is my brother' or 'The man you met is my brother'.

8. used to mean 'whatever'

What can be used with the same meaning as 'whatever', both as a pronoun and a determiner.

Do what you like.
They shared what food they had.
9. used in exclamations

What is often used in exclamations.

What a great idea!
What nonsense!
ماماذاماذا، أيأيأيُّ
hvadhvilkenhvilken som helstsikkehvilke
hvaðhvaîhvaî, hvaîa, hvers konar, hvernighvílíkur, en sáòaî sem
gal norėtumėtgerai nusimanyti apiekaip tenkam
cikkādskaskas parko
o queque
อะไรอันไหน สิ่งไหน
nene ...!nelerneyio şey ki
những thứ mà


1. (in direct questions)
In direct questions, what can generally be translated by qué with an accent:
what do you want now?¿qué quieres ahora?
what's in here?¿qué hay aquí dentro?
what is it now?y ahora ¿qué?
what does he owe his success to?; to what does he owe his success? (frm) → ¿a qué debe su éxito?
what's a tractor, Daddy?¿qué es un tractor, papá?
what are capers?¿qué son las alcaparras?
Only use ¿qué es...?/¿qué son...? to translate what is/are when asking for a definition. In other contexts use ¿cuál es?/¿cuáles son?:
what's the capital of Finland?¿cuál es la capital de Finlandia?
what's her telephone number?¿cuál es su número de teléfono?
what were the greatest problems?¿cuáles eran los mayores problemas?
However, not all expressions with what should be translated literally. Some require qué used adjectivally:
what is the difference?¿qué diferencia hay?
what are your plans?¿qué planes tienes?
BUT what's the Spanish for "pen"? → ¿cómo se dice "pen" en español?
what's your name?¿cómo te llamas?
1.2. (= how much) → cuánto
what will it cost?¿cuánto va a costar?
what does it weigh?¿cuánto pesa?
what's nine times five?¿cuánto es nueve por cinco?
1.3. (= what did you say) → cómo, qué
what? I didn't catch that¿cómo? or ¿qué?, no he entendido eso
what did you say?¿cómo or qué dices?, ¿qué has dicho?, ¿qué dijiste? (LAm)
1.4. (Brit) (o.f.) (as question tag) → verdad
it's getting late, what?se está haciendo tarde ¿no? or ¿verdad?
2. (in indirect questions)
In most cases, translate the pronoun what using either qué with an accent or lo que without an accent:
qué, lo que
he asked her what she thought of itle preguntó qué or lo que pensaba de ello
I asked him what DNA wasle pregunté qué or lo que era el ADN
Use cuál era/cuáles son instead of lo que era/lo que son if what was/are does not relate to a definition:
she asked me what my hobbies wereme preguntó cuáles eran mis hobbys
please explain what you sawpor favor, explique qué or lo que vio
can you explain what's happening?¿me puedes explicar (qué es) lo que está pasando?
he explained what it wasexplicó qué era or lo que era
do you know what's happening?¿sabes qué or lo que está pasando?
I don't know what's happeningno sé qué está pasando, no sé (qué es) lo que está pasando
tell me what happenedcuéntame qué or lo que ocurrió
2.2. (= how much) → cuánto
he asked her what she had paid for itle preguntó cuánto había pagado por ello
3. (before an infinitive) → qué
I don't know what to dono sé qué hacer
4. (relative use) → lo que
what I want is a cup of tealo que quiero es una taza de té
it wasn't what I was expectingno era lo que yo me esperaba
do what you likehaz lo que quieras
business isn't what it waslos negocios ya no son lo que eran
I've no clothes except what I'm wearingno tengo ropa, aparte de lo que llevo puesto
I saw what happenedvi lo que pasó
she told him what she thought of itle dijo lo que pensaba de ello
5. (in exclamations) what it is to be rich and famous!¡lo que es ser rico y famoso!
what's done is donelo hecho hecho está
6. (in set expressions)
and what have you, and what noty qué sé yo qué más, y qué sé yo cuántas cosas más
to give sb what forregañar a algn
know what it was full of cream, jam, chocolate and I don't know whatestaba lleno de nata, mermelada, chocolate y no sé cuántas cosas más
you know what? I think, he's drunkcreo que está borracho, ¿sabes?
I know what, let's ring her upse me ocurre una idea, vamos a llamarla por teléfono
to know what's whatsaber cuántas son cinco
or what? do you want it or what?¿lo quieres o qué?
are you coming or what?entonces ¿vienes o no?
I mean, is this sick, or what?vamos, que es de verdadero mal gusto, ¿o no?
is this luxury or what?esto sí que es lujo, ¿eh?
say what you like, ...digas lo que digas, ..., se diga lo que se diga, ....
so what?¿y qué?
so what if it does rain?¿y qué, si llueve?
so what if he is gay?¿y qué (pasa) si es gay?, ¿y qué importa que sea gay?
(I'll) tell you whatse me ocurre una idea, tengo una idea
what about what about me?y yo ¿qué?
what about next week?¿qué te parece la semana que viene?
"your car ..." - "what about it?"-tu coche ... -¿qué pasa con mi coche?
what about going to the cinema?¿qué tal si vamos al cine?, ¿y si vamos al cine?
what about lunch, shall we go out?¿y para comer? ¿salimos fuera? or ¿qué tal si salimos fuera?
what about people who haven't got cars?¿y la gente que no tiene coche?
what for? (= why) → ¿por qué?; (= to what purpose) → ¿para qué?
what are you doing that for?¿por or para qué haces eso?
what's that button for?¿para qué es ese botón?
what if ...?¿y si ...?
what if this doesn't work out?¿y si esto no funciona?
what if he says no?¿y si dice que no?
what of but what of the political leaders?pero, ¿y qué hay de los líderes políticos?
what of it?y eso ¿qué importa?
what's ... what's surprising is that we hadn't heard of this beforelo sorprendente es que no nos habíamos enterado antes
¿what's it like? (asking for description) → ¿cómo es?; (asking for evaluation) → ¿qué tal es?
what's their new house like?¿cómo es su nueva casa?
what's his first novel like?¿qué tal es su primera novela?
what will the weather be like tomorrow?¿qué tal tiempo va a hacer mañana?
and what's more ...y, además, ...
what's that? (asking about sth) → ¿qué es eso?; (= what did you say?) → ¿qué has dicho?
what's that to you?¿eso qué tiene que ver contigo?, ¿a ti qué te importa?
what's worse and what's worsey lo que es peor ...
what with what with one thing and anotherentre una cosa y otra
what with the stress and lack of sleep, I was in a terrible stateentre la tensión y la falta de sueño me encontraba fatal
1. (in direct and indirect questions) → qué
what dress shall I wear?¿qué vestido me pongo?
what colour is it?¿de qué color es?
she asked me what day she should comeme preguntó qué día tenía que venir
he explained what ingredients are usedexplicó qué ingredientes se usan
what good would that do?¿de qué serviría eso?
do you know what music they're going to play?¿sabes qué música van a tocar?
did they tell you what time they'd be arriving?¿te dijeron a qué hora llegarían?
2. (relative) what savings we had are now gonelos ahorros que teníamos ya han desaparecido
I will give you what information we havete daré la información que tenemos
I gave him what money/coins I hadle di todo el dinero/todas las monedas que tenía
I gave her what comfort I couldla consolé en lo que pude
they packed what few belongings they hadhicieron la maleta con las pocas pertenencias que tenían
what little I hadlo poco que tenía
3. (in exclamations)
Remember to put an accent on qué in exclamations as well as in direct and indirect questions:
what a nuisance!¡qué lata!
what a fool I was!¡qué tonto fui!
what an ugly dog!¡qué perro más or tan feo!
what a lot of people!¡qué cantidad de gente!
what an excuse! (iro) → ¡buen pretexto!, ¡vaya excusa!
what! you sold it!¿qué? ¡lo has vendido!
what! you expect me to believe that!¿qué? ¿esperas que me crea eso?
what! he can't be a spy!¿qué? ¿cómo va a ser un espía?
you told him WHAT?¿que le has dicho QUÉ?
"he's getting married" - "what!"se casa - ¿cómo dices?
you what? "I'm going to be an actress" - "you what?"-voy a hacerme actriz -¿cómo or qué dices?
I'm going to have a baby - you WHAT?-voy a tener un niño -¡¿que vas a tener un QUÉ?!


What size is he? → Quelle taille fait-il?
What colour is it? → De quelle couleur est-ce?, C'est de quelle couleur?
What books do you need? → Quels livres vous faut-il?
What subjects are you studying? → Quelles matières étudiez-vous?
(in questions)que; (after preposition)quoi
What is it? → Qu'est-ce que c'est?
What are you doing? → Que faites-vous?, Qu'est-ce que vous faites?
What did you say? → Qu'avez-vous dit?, Qu'est-ce que vous avez dit?
What's the matter? → Qu'y a-t-il?, Qu'est-ce qu'il y a?
What is happening? → Que se passe-t-il?, Qu'est-ce qui se passe?
What happened? → Que s'est-il passé?, Qu'est-ce qui s'est passé?
What's bothering you? → Qu'est-ce qui te préoccupe?
What's the capital of Finland? → Quelle est la capitale de la Finlande?
What are you talking about? → De quoi parlez-vous?
What is it called?
BUT Comment est-ce que ça s'appelle?.
(in relative clause, subject)ce qui; (direct object)ce que; (indirect object)ce
I saw what was on the table → J'ai vu ce qui était sur la table.
I know what's bothering you → Je sais ce qui te préoccupe.
I saw what you did → J'ai vu ce que vous avez fait.
Tell me what you did → Dites-moi ce que vous avez fait.
I heard what he said → J'ai entendu ce qu'il a dit.
What I want is a cup of tea → Ce que je veux, c'est une tasse de thé.
Tell me what you remember → Dites-moi ce dont vous vous souvenez.
what about me? → et moi?
what about doing ... ? → et si on faisait ... ?
and what have you (= et cetera) → et des choses dans ce genre
what if ... ? → et si ...?
What if he finds out? → Et s'il découvre la vérité?
what with → avec
(asking for repetition, explanation) what? → hein?
you what? → tu quoi?
say what? (US)tu quoi?
what! → quoi!
(emphasizing opinion) what a ... → quel(le)
What a mess! → Quel désordre!
What a horrible thing to do! → Quelle horreur de faire une chose pareille!
what ... (followed by adjective, noun)quel(le)
What ugly clothes! → Quelle mocheté ces vêtements!, Quels vêtements moches!
what nonsense! → quelle absurdité!what-d'ye-call-her hwɒtdʒukɔːlər] nMachine fwhat-d'ye-call-him hwɒtdʒukɔːlɪm] nMachin mwhat-d'ye-call-it hwɒtdʒukɔːlɪt] nmachin m


(interrog) → was; what is this called?wie heißt das?, wie nennt man das?; what’s the weather like?wie ist das Wetter?; what do 4 and 3 make?wie viel ist or macht 4 und or plus 3?; you need (a) what?WAS brauchen Sie?; what is it now?, what do you want now?was ist denn?; what? (= pardon?)was?; what’s that (you/he etc said)?WAS hast du/hat er etc da gerade gesagt?, wie or was war das noch mal? (inf); what’s that to you?was geht dich das an?; what for?wozu?, wofür?, für was? (inf); what’s that tool for?wofür ist das Werkzeug?; what are you looking at me like that for?warum or was (inf)siehst du mich denn so an?; what did you do that for?warum hast du denn das gemacht?; what about …?wie wärs mit …?; well, what about it? are we going?na, wie ists, gehen wir?; you know that restaurant? — what about it?kennst du das Restaurant? — was ist damit?; what of or about it?na und? (inf); what if …?was ist, wenn …?; so what? (inf)ja or na und?; what does it matter?was macht das schon?; you what? (inf)wie bitte?; what-d’you(-ma)-call-him/-her/-it (inf)wie heißt er/sie/es gleich or schnell
(rel) → was; he knows what it is to sufferer weiß, was leiden heißt or ist; that is not what I asked fordanach habe ich nicht gefragt; that’s exactly what I want/saidgenau das möchte ich/habe ich gesagt; do you know what you are looking for?weißt du, wonach du suchst?; come what maykomme was wolle; what I’d like is a cup of teawas ich jetzt gerne hätte, (das) wäre ein Tee; what with work and the new baby, life’s been very hecticdie ganze Arbeit, das Baby ist da - es ist alles sehr hektisch; what with one thing and the otherund wie es sich dann so ergab/ergibt, wie das so ist or geht; and what’s moreund außerdem, und noch dazu; he knows what’s what (inf)er kennt sich aus, der weiß Bescheid (inf); (I’ll) tell you what (inf)weißt du was?; and what have you (inf)und was sonst noch (alles), und was weiß ich; to give somebody what for (inf)es jdm ordentlich geben (inf) ? whatnot
(with vb +prep see also there) what did he agree to?wozu hat er zugestimmt?; what did he object to?wogegen or gegen was hat er Einwände erhoben?; he agreed/objected to what we suggesteder stimmte unseren Vorschlägen zu/lehnte unsere Vorschläge ab, er lehnte ab, was wir vorschlugen; he didn’t know what he was agreeing/objecting toer wusste nicht, wozu er zustimmte/was er ablehnte; she fell in with what everyone else wantedsie schloss sich den Wünschen der Allgemeinheit an; he didn’t go into what he meanter erläuterte nicht im Einzelnen, was er meinte
(interrog) → welche(r, s), was für (ein/eine) (inf); what age is he?wie alt ist er?; what good would that be? (inf)wozu sollte das gut sein?; what book do you want?was für ein Buch wollen Sie?
(rel) → der/die/das; what little I haddas wenige, das ich hatte; buy what food you likekauf das Essen, das du willst
(in set constructions) what sort ofwas für ein/eine; what elsewas noch; what more could a girl ask for?was könnte sich ein Mädchen sonst noch wünschen
(in interj, also iro) → was für (ein/eine); what a man!was für ein or welch ein (geh)Mann!; what luck!welch(es) Glück, was für ein Glück, so ein Glück; what a fool I’ve been/I am!ich Idiot!; what terrible weatherwas für ein scheußliches Wetter
interjwas; (dated: = isn’t it/he etc also) → wie; is he good-looking, or what?sieht der aber gut aus! (inf)


(wot) pronoun, adjective
1. used in questions etc when asking someone to point out, state etc one or more persons, things etc. What street is this?; What's your name/address / telephone number?; What time is it?; What (kind of) bird is that?; What is he reading?; What did you say?; What is this cake made of?; `What do you want to be when you grow up?' `A doctor.'; Tell me what you mean; I asked him what clothes I should wear.
2. (also adverb) used in exclamations of surprise, anger etc. What clothes she wears!; What a fool he is!; What naughty children they are!; What a silly book this is!
relative pronoun
1. the thing(s) that. Did you find what you wanted?; These tools are just what I need for this job; What that child needs is a good spanking!
2. (also relative adjective) any (things or amount) that; whatever. I'll lend you what clothes you need; Please lend me what you can.
whatˈever relative adjective, relative pronoun
any (thing(s) or amount) that. I'll lend you whatever (books) you need.
adjective, pronoun
no matter what. You have to go on, whatever (trouble) you meet; Whatever (else) you do, don't say that!
whatsoever; at all. I had nothing whatever to do with that.
(also what ever) used in questions or exclamations to express surprise etc. Whatever will he say when he hears this?
ˈwhatnot noun
such things. He told me all about publishing and whatnot.
ˈwhat's-his/-her/-its etc -name noun
used in referring vaguely to a person or thing. Where does what's-his-name live?
ˌwhatsoˈever (-sou-) adjective
at all. That's nothing whatsoever to do with me.
know what's what
to be able to tell what is important.
what about?
1. used in asking whether the listener would like (to do) something. What about a glass of milk?; What about going to the cinema?
2. used in asking for news or advice. What about your new book?; What about the other problem?
what … for
1. why(?). What did he do that for?
2. for what purpose(?). What is this switch for?
what have you
and similar things; and so on. clothes, books and what have you.
what if?
what will or would happen if ...?. What if he comes back?
what … like?
used when asking for information about someone or something. `What does it look like?' `It's small and square.'; `What's her mother like?' `Oh, she's quite nice.'; We may go – it depends (on) what the weather's like.
what of it?
used in replying, to suggest that what has been done, said etc is not important. `You've offended him.' `What of it?'
what with
because of. What with taking no exercise and being too fat, he had a heart attack.


أيُّ, ما co, jaký hvad, hvilken was, welcher τι que, qué mikä, mitä qu’est-ce que, quel Koliko, što cosa, quale, 何の 무슨, 무엇 wat, welke hva co, jaki que который, что vad อะไร, อันไหน สิ่งไหน ne, những thứ mà 什么
References in classic literature ?
But you know I've only been in fun--of course I don't know anything about what's going to happen to us.
You don't know what's going to happen through the day, and there's so much scope for imagination.
You'll come with me and we'll settle what's to be done with you.
Yes, Pip," said Joe; "and what's worse, she's got Tickler with her.
Now, perhaps you'll mention what's the matter," said my sister, out of breath, "you staring great stuck pig.
LIZA [crushed by superior strength and weight] What's to become of me?
HIGGINS [enlightened, but not at all impressed] Oh, that's what's worrying you, is it?
I really don't know, I do NOT know what's to be done with that young fellow; he's always a-wishing something horrid.
Weller, lighting the pipe by the ingenious process of holding to the bowl thereof, between the tongs, a red-hot coal from the adjacent fire; and what's more, my dear, I shall manage to surwive it, if he don't come back at all.
You must know my dear,' said Flora, 'but that I have no doubt you know already not only because I have already thrown it out in a general way but because I feel I carry it stamped in burning what's his names upon my brow that before I was introduced to the late Mr F.
Do you want to go to doing different from what's in the books, and get things all muddled up?
What's he allays goin' to the Poysers' for, if he didna want t' see her?
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