I've been into the use of "any" in positive sentences, and I crossed that this sense of "any" can also be used with "whatsoever" to add emphasis, such as:

  • If you have any query whatsoever - it doesn't matter what it is - please ask me.

Nevertheless, I think that "whatsoever" is just used with negative sentences to add emphasis, and "any" in this sense is not indicating anything negative, so why is "whatsoever" used? and wouldn't it be better to use "whatever" instead?

Here is the link where I found that sentence: https://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/grammar/learnit/learnitv303.shtml

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    whatsoever is an intensifier for preceding any [query] - it's only there to impress on the audience that the speaker doesn't mind if the "queries" are trivial or stupid (or in some other way not exactly "standard" - so long as they are actually "queries", that's good enough). Commented Feb 13, 2021 at 17:24
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    In the context as cited, whatever and whatsoever are equivalent and interchangeable. Commented Feb 13, 2021 at 17:26
  • @FumbleFingers it seems that nowadays "whatsoever" is less common in positive sentences, and it's just used in negative ones.
    – Thunder05
    Commented Feb 13, 2021 at 21:53
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    I think you're quite right that whatsoever (which used to be very uncommon compared to the shorter whatever) works better in syntactically negating contexts. But I don't think it's necessarily relevant whether the tone, meaning of the utterance is positive or negative - it seems to me that the longer version has risen to prominence as the more emphatic choice. Commented Feb 14, 2021 at 12:27
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    (But nobody normally says Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn. You just do whatsoever you want!, no matter how emphatic they want to be :) Commented Feb 14, 2021 at 12:30

1 Answer 1


If you have any query whatsoever - it doesn't matter what it is - please ask me.

whatever = whatsoever (whatsoever's emphasis is greater than whatever's)

whatsoever is the stressed version of whatever

whatever is used frequently after nouns combined with no, any, all.

ex) There is no doubt whatever/whatsoever. Is there any chance whatever/whatsoever?

  • Got it! But I think that this use of "whatsoever" instead of "whatever" meaning any kind of something is archaic. And just nowadays native speakers just use whatsoever in negative sentences. Source: allearsenglish.com/…
    – Thunder05
    Commented Feb 13, 2021 at 21:41

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