March 25, 2015 – Word of the Day
Use the word "why" when asking questions about reasons or causes:
- Why did she leave?
- Why is he angry?
- Why are they going out of business?
- Why doesn’t my phone work?
Some people use "why" to form a question that functions as a statement, or an answer to the question is not expected:
- Why is this so difficult?
- Why is he so stupid?
- Why can’t they ever be on time?
- Why can’t I figure this out?
The word "why" is often used at the beginning of a noun clause or a relative clause:
- We want to know why this happened.
- Do you know why the car doesn’t start?
- Why this doesn’t work is a mystery to all of us.
- Why this is important will surprise you.
Be careful when describing another person’s question if it included the word "why." The word order should not be in the form of a question.
- The supervisor asked the man why he was late. (Not, ….why was he late.)
- The boy asked why he couldn’t go outside. (Not,… why couldn’t he go outside.)
- I need to know why this happened. (Not,… why did this happen.)
Sometimes "why" is used when expressing frustration:
- Why oh why did he do that?
- Why oh why oh why?
- Why, why, why?!
Click here to go to the Word of the Day page.