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What is the difference? Which one is correct?

what do you need it for?

what for do you need it?

for what do you need it?

2

what do you need it for? - correct, informal and conversational, widely used.

what for do you need it? - broken English. Do not use. Will be heard as "wrong" by native speakers.

for what do you need it? - correct - more formal.

  • In practice, we're probably more likely to ask Why do you need it? rather than What do you need it for? Just sayin'. – FumbleFingers Aug 25 at 12:15
  • Yes, "what for" can be equivalent to "why", but a question about the intended use or purpose of something can very often be formed like "What do you need caustic soda for?", where the answer could be like "I need it for unblocking a drain-pipe". I don't know about "more likely". – Michael Harvey Aug 25 at 14:05

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