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What's the difference between whatever and what?



 
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What's the difference between whatever and what? #1 (permalink) Mon Oct 16, 2006 13:03 pm   What's the difference between whatever and what?
 

English Language Tests, Intermediate level

ESL/EFL Test #100 "Student Teacher Dialogue (3)", question 6

Student: That's one I never understand ......... hard I try.

(a) whenever
(b) however
(c) wherever
(d) whatever

English Language Tests, Intermediate level

ESL/EFL Test #100 "Student Teacher Dialogue (3)", answer 6

Student: That's one I never understand however hard I try.

Correct answer: (b) however

Your answer was: incorrect
Student: That's one I never understand whatever hard I try.
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what's the difference between whatever and what?

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What vs. whatever #2 (permalink) Mon Oct 16, 2006 13:31 pm   What vs. whatever
 

'Whatever' is a strong form of 'what'. It also means 'any ... at all':

    Have there been any letters? -- None whatever.
    Is there any hope whatever? -- No, nothing whatever can help him now.
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Whatever #3 (permalink) Mon Oct 16, 2006 14:01 pm   Whatever
 

Hi,

And then of course to make it even stronger, you can add 'so' to make whatesoever.

Alan
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What's the difference between whatever and what? #4 (permalink) Mon Oct 16, 2006 14:12 pm   What's the difference between whatever and what?
 

Hi y'all ;)

Just a little note about American usage:
As far as I know, the word "whatsoever" is used almost exclusively in negative (sometimes also interrogative) sentences in AmE.
"None whatsoever."

My American ear would find it quite unusual to hear whatsoever in an affirmative sentence.

Amy
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Whatsoever #5 (permalink) Mon Oct 16, 2006 14:19 pm   Whatsoever
 

Hi Amy,

I think we can do negative and positive in British English though it does sound a bit quirky:

Quote:
From the Bible, Galatians vi. 'Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.'

Here endeth the lesson!

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