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  1. keannu's Avatar
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    #1

    What ever are you doing?

    Is it possble to say "ever" for emphasis for what in these? I haven't heard of it, but the first one is in my grammar book.

    ex)What ever are you doing?(emphasis for what)
    What ever did you mean by it?(emphasis for what)

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    #2

    Re: What ever are you doing?

    Yes - that's fine, keannu, but whatever is one word, not two.

    Rover

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    #3

    Re: What ever are you doing?

    I have to politely disagree with my native BrE commenter...

    1) What are you doing? (No emphasis of course)
    2a) What ever are you doing? (ever used as an adverb for emphasis)

    2b) Whatever are you doing? (this is nonsensical to me).

    See specific example attached for use of "what ever", scroll way down
    ever - definition of ever by Macmillan Dictionary

  2. freezeframe's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: What ever are you doing?

    Quote Originally Posted by allenman View Post
    I have to politely disagree with my native BrE commenter...

    1) What are you doing? (No emphasis of course)
    2a) What ever are you doing? (ever used as an adverb for emphasis)

    2b) Whatever are you doing? (this is nonsensical to me).

    See specific example attached for use of "what ever", scroll way down
    ever - definition of ever by Macmillan Dictionary
    If you scroll down further in the link you provide, you'll notice that it says

    what ever, who ever etc can also be written as single words: whatever, whoever, whenever, and wherever.
    Entry for whatever.

    spoken used for emphasizing “what” in a question to show that you are surprised, interested, upset, or annoyed

    What ever happened to that artist friend of yours?

    Whatever are you doing indoors on such a beautiful day?

    Whatever will I do without you?

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    #5

    Re: What ever are you doing?

    Quote Originally Posted by freezeframe View Post
    If you scroll down further in the link you provide, you'll notice that it says

    Entry for whatever.
    However, what you miss by being non-native is where we natives empahsize while speaking...there is generally a pause, followed by inflected voice, which when written as "whatever" never can take on the pause + inflection.

    Any native experiences out there?

  3. 5jj's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: What ever are you doing?

    Quote Originally Posted by allenman View Post
    1. However, what you miss by being non-native is where we natives empahsize while speaking...there is generally a pause, followed by inflected voice, which 2. when written as "whatever" never can take on the pause + inflection.
    1. Some of the non-native speakers of English that I know have more natural intonation and stress patterns than some of the native speakers I encounter these days. Some of the non-native people who are interested in, and study, English appear to have a far more sensitive ear for nuance than some native speakers.

    2. But 'whatever' can be written as one word. To say that spelling 'can never take on the pause + inflection' appears to give a strange power to spelling.

  4. freezeframe's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: What ever are you doing?

    Quote Originally Posted by allenman View Post
    However, what you miss by being non-native is where we natives empahsize while speaking...there is generally a pause, followed by inflected voice, which when written as "whatever" never can take on the pause + inflection.

    Any native experiences out there?
    I guess I'll have to take that "Russian" part out of my profile.

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