The different usage of “whatever” and “what”

Following two sentences includes a confusing grammar in my opinion. Can you help me ? Whatever a man lacks in himself he will seek outside. If I wrote this sentence, I would use “it” after the verb “seek”. I think there is a missing object in the second half of the sentence. What a man … Read more

What´s the difference between “lay out” and “put” in this phrase?

I’m from Brazil and I’m learning English. I recently came across a phrase that intrigued me a bit… “Brenda wants to have a picnic. She drives to the park. She lays out a blanket.” Can I use “put” instead of “lays out”? If so, what is the difference between them, and if not, why? Answer … Read more

Is “what has been discussed are…” a grammatically correct sentence?

When concluding an essay, I wrote “what has been discussed are three major advantages of xxx”. But I doubt if “what has been discussed is three major advantages of xxx” is more correct? Answer The following “Grammarphobia” blog post provides a summary of what some resources say about how to inflect verbs for grammatical number … Read more

Making sense of “What Do You Care What Other People Think?”

“What Do You Care What Other People Think?” is the title of a book by Richard Feynman. The use of the first “what” sounds very unusual to me (a non-native speaker of English) since I’ve never seen the word “care” taking both a direct object (“what”) and an indirect one (“what other people think”). Does … Read more

I’d like to know if this is a grammatically correct sentence

It is what to unify and harmony with Nature. Also, do these two sentences have different meanings: A. The aesthetics of nature is what unifies and harmonizes with nature. B. The aesthetics of nature is unity and harmony with nature. Answer Most likely, the sentence is a mistake, and pretty much gibberish as it stands. … Read more

Usage of: “What is certain is that….” common English?

Can you confirm the following expression is used in common and formal cases? “What is certain is that…” As a native German, studying academic English, it sounds slightly strange. May I ask for your confirmation? Is a comma needed? Answer What is certain is that . . .. As a concluding thought in a line … Read more

“The first issue of Life magazine had a photo of a what on its cover?” Is “a what” correct here?

Is this question grammatically correct? Published in 1936, the first issue of Life magazine had a Margaret Bourke-White photo of a what on its cover? Can words like “the”, “a”, or a number be followed by the word “what”? Can the word “what” in my question posted act as a noun itself? Answer When used … Read more

‘Who’ versus ‘what’ when talking about relationships between two people

I’m taking an intro Spanish class and we learned the phrase “qué es ella de ti” to ask how someone is related to someone else. “Qué” is the equivalent of “what”. I was confused about why you wouldn’t use the equivalent of “who”… I considered what would be appropriate in English but I’m still confused. … Read more

Is it possible put a preposition in front of a relative pronoun what?

She believed what I was talking about. She believed about what I was talking. I believe the sentence 1 is grammatically correct, but I’m not sure about the sentence 2. Is that okay, too? Thank you. Answer Let me try to talk about what seems to be your main question. If we believe in what … Read more