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Why

March 25, 2015 Word of the Day

why

 

 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?!

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