0
  • Why Something Instead of Nothing?

  • Why Something New?

  • Why Dog in the Wind?

  • why thing in the back of my throat?
  • Why everything on zero?

I looked up "Why" in my dictionary, but I could not figure out how it was used. Please let me know usage of"why"

  • 1
    Your questions are not clear. None of the phases you give are sentences: they do not contain verbs. You need to explain exactly what you are asking and to give the context. – Ronald Sole May 5 '17 at 11:26
  • The sentences are not grammatically correct, but why here seems to mean exactly what it normally means: "What is the reason for ____ ?" – stangdon May 5 '17 at 11:55
  • @ stangdon Oh thank you. If so, is the following sentence also grammatically wrong? "why the word up in call up a friend?" – Lami May 5 '17 at 12:06
  • @Lami - That sentence is also not correct because it does not contain a verb. I think it should be "Why is the word..." or "Why do we say the word..." – stangdon May 5 '17 at 12:12
  • @stangdon- Thank you very much. I was confused with this sentence in the introduction text of "Richard Spears-Essential Phrasal Verbs Dictionary", but now the question has been solved. – Lami May 5 '17 at 12:22
1

The "sentences" you quote are so much part of everyday English, that they could be considered idiomatic.

However parts of them, including the main verb (often "is/are*) have been elided. Hence the argument that they cannot be sentences, "because they do not contain a verb".

Why (have you bought) something new?

Why (is) everything on zero?

In Why the fuss?, the elision is not as straightforward. What is being said is Why (is there) a fuss (being made)? But the article has changed from indefinite to definite.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.