why1 [ waı, hwaı ] function word ***
Why can be used in the following ways:
as a question adverb (introducing a direct or indirect question):
Why didn't you call me?
I know why he's worried. (followed by an infinitive without to ):
We can start now, so why wait?
as a relative adverb (referring back to a noun and introducing a relative clause):
She's tired and that's the reason why she's so bad-tempered. (introducing a clause that is the subject, object, or complement of another clause):
Everyone in Dublin is so friendly, and that is why I love the city.as an interjection:
Why, what's the matter?
1. ) used for asking the reason for something:
Why are you so angry?
He asked me why I was leaving so early, and I didn't know what to say.
why is it that...?: Why is it that the country imports so much of its food?
why ever (=used for showing that you are surprised): She says she's not coming to the wedding. Why ever not?
a ) used when someone knows or says the reason for something:
I don't know why, but there's something I don't like about that woman.
There are a lot of things we need to discuss, which is why I'm here.
reason why: I can only think of one reason why Frank should be jealous.
2. ) SPOKEN used at the beginning of a comment or reply for showing that you are surprised:
Why, I bet you never had the slightest intention of keeping your promise.
Henry's arriving on the twenty-eighth. Why, that's tomorrow!
why me? SPOKEN
used when you cannot understand why you have been chosen to do something difficult or why something bad has happened to you:
Somebody had to take the blame, but why me?
why not...? SPOKEN
1. ) used for making a suggestion:
Why don't we share the cost of accommodation?
why not do something: Why not stay for lunch?
2. ) used for agreeing to a suggestion or request:
Maybe we could all meet up at your house? Yes, of course, why not?
why, oh why...? SPOKEN
used when you wish that something had not happened:
Why, oh why did you get involved with that awful man?
why should I? SPOKEN
used for rudely refusing to do what someone has just asked you to do:
Tell us what Digby said. Why should I?
why 2 [ waı, hwaı ] noun
the whys and wherefores
the reasons and explanations:
The president should be able to make a decision without having to explain all the whys and wherefores to a bunch of reporters.

Usage of the words and phrases in modern English. 2013.

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • why me? — spoken phrase used when you cannot understand why you have been chosen to do something difficult or why something bad has happened to you Somebody had to take the blame, but why me? Thesaurus: ways of saying that you do not know or… …   Useful english dictionary

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