Here is the context:

Person 1 - You are going to break it if you handle the phone like this.

Person 2 - What to break? The screen is already cracked.

Tell me please if the question is grammatically correrct and natural. If not, then could you tell the right way to construct a rhetorical question?

1 Answer 1


The casual "what's to...' expression indicates that the thing referred to by the verb is already completed or that nothing further is possible or necessary. The usual form is "What's to [verb]?"

What's to break?

Father: please clean the car today. Son: what's to clean? I took it to the carwash this morning.

Also, when something is completely likeable we can say "what's not to like?".

Joe's Steak house has brisk service, good portions, a large drinks menu, and great desserts. What's not to like?

What's to know?

  • From context this is what is meant in the OP's conversion (either a mistake from the speaker or it was misheard), but it may be worth noting that "What to X" is also a phrase with a different meaning, as in, "What to eat? It all looks so good!"
    – Paul
    Jul 1, 2018 at 1:44

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