If I wanted to ask about the thing or things that made my son's clothes dirty, what would I say?

I know dirty works as a verb, but when I said:

What dirtied your clothes?

It didn't strike me as a natural sentence, so I googled the question (with quotation marks) to be sure, but got zero results. That's when I realized this question format is not how you would ask about the reason for dirty clothes. I know there could be many ways to ask the same question. For example:

Why are your clothes dirty?

I want to know the common and natural way of asking about this.

1 Answer 1


You can ask why are your clothes dirty. But it might not represent what you want to know. The straightforward answer to "why" starts with "because", so the answer may be "because I went hiking".

If you want to ask a "What" question, you can use:

  • What is that dirt on your clothes?

  • What has stained your clothes?

  • What made your clothes so dirty?

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