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English definition of “what if?”

what if?

B1 used to ask about something that could happen in the future, especially something bad: What if the train's late? What if you don't pass your exams?Question words and expressions Grammar:ExclamationsWe use exclamations to express surprise or shock or a strong emotion about something. The type of phrase or clause associated with exclamations is called exclamative.See moreGrammar:What …!We can use what + noun phrase ((+ verb) (+ tag)):See moreGrammar:How …!We often use how followed by an adjective only:See moreGrammar:Exclamatives with interrogative formWe sometimes make an exclamation using interrogative (question) word order:See moreGrammar:Questions: interrogative pronouns (what, who)We use interrogative pronouns to ask questions. They are: who, which, whom, what and whose. These are also known as wh-words. Questions using these are called wh-questions:See moreGrammar:Interrogative pronouns: usesWe use who and whom on their own:See moreGrammar:WhatWhat is a wh-word. We use what to ask questions and as a pronoun and determiner.See moreGrammar:What as a question wordWe can use what to ask for information about things and actions:See moreGrammar:What meaning ‘please repeat’We can use what in informal situations to ask someone to repeat something if we don’t hear it or understand it:See moreGrammar:Emphatic questions with whatever and what on earthWe can ask emphatic questions using whatever or what on earth to express shock or surprise. We stress ever and earth:See moreGrammar:What as a pronounWe can use what as a pronoun to mean ‘the thing(s) that’:See moreGrammar:What as a determinerWe can use what in exclamations to express a strong feeling or opinion. In this case, we use what as a determiner before a noun or before a/an (+ adjective) + noun:See moreGrammar:What … for?We can use what … for? in two ways. We can use it in informal situations to mean why?:See moreGrammar:What: typical errorsSee more
(Definition of what if? from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

Translations of “what if?”

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