Page 1 of 2 1 2 Last
Results 1 to 10 of 13
  1. #1
    Leiard is offline Newbie
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • German
      • Home Country:
      • Germany
      • Current Location:
      • Germany
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Posts
    2

    Question What's the matter?

    I did not find "What's the matter?" in the database, so I wanted to ask whether this is more an American or a British idiom.
    Thank you!

  2. #2
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    59,365

    Re: What's the matter?

    Welcome to the forum.

    It's certainly very common in BrE.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. #3
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Posts
    21,282

    Re: What's the matter?

    I would qualify what's the matter?​ as an idiom, not slang.
    I am not a teacher.

  4. #4
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    24,562

    Re: What's the matter?

    It's very common in the US also.

  5. #5
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    59,365

    Re: What's the matter?

    I wouldn't call it an idiom or slang. It's a simple direct question which you would aim at someone when you think, for some reason, that they have a problem of some kind.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  6. #6
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Posts
    21,282

    Re: What's the matter?

    I consider it an idiom because the noun matter changes its meaning in the fixed phrase the matter (with).

    A.A. Milne, no champion of slang, wrote a whole poem about something being the matter:


    What is the matter with Mary Jane?
    She's crying with all her might and main,
    And she won't eat her dinner - rice pudding again -
    What is the matter with Mary Jane?


    What is the matter with Mary Jane?
    I've promised her dolls and a daisy-chain,
    And a book about animals - all in vain -
    What is the matter with Mary Jane?


    What is the matter with Mary Jane?
    She's perfectly well, and she hasn't a pain;
    But, look at her, now she's beginning again! -
    What is the matter with Mary Jane?


    What is the matter with Mary Jane?
    I've promised her sweets and a ride in the train,
    And I've begged her to stop for a bit and explain -
    What is the matter with Mary Jane?


    What is the matter with Mary Jane?
    She's perfectly well and she hasn't a pain,
    And it's lovely rice pudding for dinner again!
    What is the matter with Mary Jane?
    I am not a teacher.

  7. #7
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    24,562

    Re: What's the matter?

    Not one of the finest Milne examples.

  8. #8
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Posts
    21,282

    Re: What's the matter?

    I've always quite liked that one. There's no accounting for taste, eh?
    I am not a teacher.

  9. #9
    Leiard is offline Newbie
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • German
      • Home Country:
      • Germany
      • Current Location:
      • Germany
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Posts
    2

    Re: What's the matter?

    Thank you all! :)

    I thought the phrase wouldn't be BE because in two or three dictionaries I found, it were tagged as American English.
    For example: http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dict...t-s-the-matter

  10. #10
    tantrum's Avatar
    tantrum is offline Newbie
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Ukrainian
      • Home Country:
      • Ukraine
      • Current Location:
      • Ukraine
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Posts
    7

    Re: What's the matter?

    What's up? What happened?

    Carole, what's the matter? You don't seem happy.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 Last

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •