what

/ˈwɑːt/

  • that which
    1. He has no income but what he gets from his writing. [=he has no income except for the income he gets from his writing]
    2. “Do you have any other sizes?” “No, only what you see here.”
  • the kind that
    1. The speech was very much what everyone expected.
    2. My memory isn't what it used to be. [=it is not as good as it used to be]
  • something that
    1. The dog is chewing on what appears to be a sock.
    2. It was the beginning of what turned out to be a long and successful career.
  • the thing or things that
    1. What you need is a vacation. [=you need a vacation]
    2. What made me angry was how he treated you. [=it was the way he treated you that made me angry]
    3. What matters most is your safety. = Your safety is what matters most.
    4. Romance novels are what she enjoys reading.
    5. Do what you're told.
    6. Tell me what you're looking for.
    7. She is looking for something but I don't know what.
    8. He knows what he should do.
    9. Stop telling me what to do.
    10. I don't know what to think/say/believe.
    11. She has (got) what it takes [=she has the skills and personality] to do the job.
    12. I'll do what it takes to win.
    13. You'll never guess what happened to me today. [=you'll be surprised by what happened to me today]
    14. Guess what happened to me today!
    15. “Guess what!” “What?” “I bought a new car.”
  • anything or everything that
    1. Say what you will, my opinion won't change. [=nothing you can say will change my opinion]
    2. Take what you need. [=take anything that you need]
  • does that include (someone)
    1. “We're all going to the beach.” “What about Kenny?”
  • how does that affect (someone or something)
    1. “I need to leave—something has come up.” “What about the meeting?” “We can reschedule it.”
    2. “You can throw this one away.” “What about the others?” “Those I want to keep.”
    3. (And/But) What about the people who can't afford health insurance?
  • for what purpose or reason
    1. What did you do that for? [=why did you do that?]
    2. What is this switch for? [=what does this switch do?]
    3. “The principal wants to see you.” “What for?” [=why?]
  • any of the other things that might also be mentioned
    1. You can use the container to hold paper clips, pins, and/or what have you.
  • what would happen if
    1. What if they find out?
    2. What if it rains?
  • what does it matter if
    1. “He's nice enough, I suppose. But he's poor.” “What if he is poor? I love him!”
    2. “They might find out.” “So what if they do? I don't care.”
  • why does (something) matter
    1. “Did you approve this request?” “Yes. What of it?” [=so what?]
  • why do you want to know
    1. “How much do they pay you?” “Why? What's it to you?”
  • in addition
    1. Her boyfriend is intelligent and handsome; what's more, he respects her.
  • the true state of things
    1. She knows what's what when it comes to fashion. [=she knows a lot about fashion]
    2. We need to find out what's what.
  • what is the reason for (something)
    1. (So) what's with the hat? [=why are you wearing that hat?]
    2. He told me to go away. What's up with that? [=why did he do that?]
  • what is wrong with (someone or something)
    1. What's with him?
    2. What's up with you? You look upset.
    3. I can't figure out what's up with this computer.
  • in what way
    1. What [=how] does it matter?
    2. What does she care? [=why is it important to her?]

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