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meaning of "What on earth"


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Explanations #16 (permalink) Wed Mar 24, 2010 8:37 am   Explanations
 

Dear Teacher,

Could you please explain to me as the following expressions:

(b) Are they on earth?
(c) Do they live on earth?
(d) Why on earth to?

Thanks

Savath
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meaning of "What on earth" #17 (permalink) Sun Mar 28, 2010 9:26 am   meaning of "What on earth"
 

Hi Sroth,

(b) Are they on earth? This could mean: Have they landed? It would be better to know the context here.
(c) Do they live on earth? This asks the question about whether they live here on the earth or whether they live on another planet.
(d) Why on earth to? The expression: Why on earth? is an expression of surprise or disbelief as in: Why on earth did you paint your car bright pink?

Alan
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meaning of "What on earth" #18 (permalink) Mon Mar 29, 2010 6:09 am   meaning of "What on earth"
 

Dear Alan,

Thanks you very much for your explanation.

regards
Savath
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meaning of "What on earth" #19 (permalink) Tue Mar 30, 2010 14:29 pm   meaning of "What on earth"
 

I'am so enthusiastic to learning this sentences .

thank you.
Usher.fitz
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meaning of "What on earth" #20 (permalink) Fri Jul 23, 2010 20:26 pm   meaning of "What on earth"
 

I didn't understant the question and the answer.

what do they mean?

They went on strike last week.
why on earth for?

could you explain, please?
Jordano
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meaning of "What on earth" #21 (permalink) Sat Apr 09, 2011 11:49 am   meaning of "What on earth"
 

Thank you so much for the explanation...
Cleverbarbi
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meaning of "What on earth" #22 (permalink) Sat Apr 09, 2011 12:22 pm   meaning of "What on earth"
 

Jordano wrote:
I didn't understant the question and the answer.

what do they mean?

They went on strike last week.
why on earth for?

could you explain, please?

They (some workers, undefined in the sentence) went on strike -- that is, they took industrial action by refusing to work because they were disputing something (possibly pay, working conditions or a task they considered to be inappropriate).

What on earth for? ('Why' is incorrect here.) - The speaker is surprised to hear they have gone on strike and uses this expression of surprise to ask what they are striking about.
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Re: What on earth #23 (permalink) Wed Jul 13, 2011 8:42 am   Re: What on earth
 

"what on earth for ?"
.It means 'why do they doing so?'....simply doesn't connect with the word 'EARTH'
......But many people use this .....well I think this is totally used in speaking CASUALLY . Because I have noticed this sentence used in many English movies.

Am I right Alan??
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what on earth #24 (permalink) Thu Oct 13, 2011 13:10 pm   what on earth
 

Means What but you use earth to emphasize,or to indicate your surprise
also
we have why on earth....why?
and where on earth :where?

englishbyidioms.com/american-idioms-expressions/american-idioms-expressions-lesson-4/
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meaning of "What on earth" #25 (permalink) Sun Jun 22, 2014 8:15 am   meaning of "What on earth"
 

Why "What on earth for" incorrect?
Whatyourname
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meaning of "What on earth" #26 (permalink) Sun Jun 22, 2014 10:35 am   meaning of "What on earth"
 

In response to what question, Whatyourname?
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