Can "it", "that", "this", and "what" be the direct object of these verbs "insist", and "care" when they're implying a sentence?

For example,

  1. You insist what? You insist it? You insist that? You insist this?
  2. You care what? You care it? You care that? You care this?

Here, if "what", "it", "that" and "this" all imply a sentence, I think there is no need to add prepositions as in

You insist on what? You insist on it? You insist on that? You insist on this?

You care about what? You care about it? You care about that? You care about this?

1 Answer 1


For both, it depends on the context. In general, "insist" takes a direct object that can be almost any noun, but you'd only use a pronoun when responding or referring to a prior comment:

A: I insist you stop seeing my sister! I insist it!
B: You insist that/this, do you?

To me, "insist that" sounds more natural, but I can't explain exactly why you'd choose to say "this" instead of "that" when referring to a prior comment. In any case, you'd only say "insist what" if you didn't understand or were questioning a prior comment:

A: I insist you stop seeing my sister!
B: You insist what? Don't be absurd.


B: You insist what? I didn't hear you.

"Care" is similar, but (for whatever reason) I don't think either "care it" or "care this" is idiomatic. "Care that" can be used when referring to a prior comment:

A: I care that people aren't taking care of their gardens properly.
B: Why should you care that? It's nice they grow gardens at all.

"Care what" can be used if you are responding to, or don't understand, a prior comment:

A: I care that you seem to be losing your hearing.
B: You care what? My hearing is just fine, thank you!


B: You care what? Did I lose an earring?

  • Maybe is it also possible to say "hope it/hope that/hope this/hope what/think it/think that/think this/think what" the same way as "insist/care" in your examples?
    – GKK
    Jan 29, 2021 at 17:16

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