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  1. VIP Member
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Bulgarian
      • Home Country:
      • Bulgaria
      • Current Location:
      • Bulgaria

    • Join Date: Sep 2007
    • Posts: 5,000

    What on earth..?

    Dear teachers,

    Would you been kind enough to share with me your opinion concerning the mentioned below interpretations of the expressions in bold in the following sentences?

    Miss Sedley (whom we have selected for the very reason that she was the best-natured of all, otherwise what on earth was to have prevented us from putting up Miss Swartz, or Miss Crump, or Miss Hopkins, as heroine in her place!) it could not be expected that every one should be of the humble and gentle temper of Miss Amelia Sedley; should take every opportunity to vanquish Rebecca's hard-heartedness and ill-humour; and, by a thousand kind words and offices, overcome, for once at least, her hostility to her kind.

    What on earth ..? = What in the world..? …. when we want to express surprise, confusion, or anger

    What on Earth are you wearing that for? (You’re expressing your surprise and confusion, and you’re asking for an explanation.)

    What on Earth do you guys want at this hour?

    heartedness = stone-hearted, callousness

    ill-humour = short temper, fretfullness

    Thanks for your efforts.


    Last edited by vil; 18-Jul-2010 at 11:44.

  2. Moderator
    Retired English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 25,705

    Re: What on earth..?

    Yes. Correct.

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