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Could anyone enlighten me on the difference between these expressions:

1) "So, what about it?"

2) "Oh, what about that?"

Is "what about that" the same as "how about that"? Or is there a difference?

EDIT: I'm particularly confused about the usage of these expressions in the following scenarios:

Bob: A fight broke out between Jane and Julia the other day?

Joe: Oh, what about that?

From this, it looks like "Oh, what about that?" is used to express surprise and to convey to the other that you might be interested in knowing more

Bob: A fight broke out between Jane and Julia the other day?

Joe: So, what about it?

Seems like Joe is not surprised by the news at all, like if it's something that happens every day. So, it looks like "So, what about it?" is used in the same sense as "So what?"

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Imagine you are shopping with a friend.

1) You are holding a shirt, and thinking about whether you like it. Your friend is bored and asks: "So, what about it?"

2) You are holding a shirt, and thinking about whether you like it. Your friend finds another one, thinks it might suit you better, points to it and says: "Oh, what about that?"

So you see, the first one is more likely said to tell that you are waiting for something, e.g. like decision. The second one drags the attention to something different and shows other possibilities.

  • Thank you for your input. If I tell someone something and they are surprised, which expression would be more appropriate if they were to ask me to tell them more. Like, Me: You know the earth is round? Flatearther: Oh, what about that! Is this correct? The flatearther is trying to show surprised and maybe wants to know more. Also, I have heard that 'What about it' is used in the sense of 'So what?'. – Wololo May 2 at 6:04
  • I have edited the post. Please have a look – Wololo May 2 at 6:21
  • You are right. :) – Martze May 2 at 9:52

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