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    #1

    what for

    1) Why did you call me?
    2) What did you call me for?


    3) Why didn't you call me?
    4) What didn't you call me for?


    I think '1' and '2' are both correct and mean the same, but it seems to me that '4' doesn't work. I think 'what ... for?' does not work with negative verbs.

    Am I right?

    Gratefully,
    Navi.

    HAPPY NEW YEAR.

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: what for

    You are correct.

  2. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: what for

    What's a negative verb? "Didn't"?

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    #4

    Re: what for

    Thank you both very much,

    Yes, I think 'didn't' is a negative verb. Actually, I wasn't sure if one could also say 'didn't call' is negative or not. But I think that is not possible.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negative_verb

    Of course, everything depends on the context. In my case, for instance, 'despair' is a negative verb that is used on a daily basis. And when I say 'my case', I have the medical meaning in my despairing mind!
    Gratefully,
    Navi.

    HAPPY NEW YEAR!
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 02-Jan-2016 at 09:14. Reason: Deleting superfluoous exclamation marks.

  3. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: what for

    I don't know that I want to find a place in my vocabulary for negative verbs. True, there are some words that have negative connotations, but that means they suggest some kind of unpleasantness.

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    #6

    Re: what for

    If you don't smoke, it's a negative verb, but the meaning's positive to many.

  4. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: what for

    I have a problem, thus:

    Every time I learn something new
    I forget something I already knew.

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