since 1997, the world's premier FREE website for learners + teachers of English
ESL Downloads - click 4 FREE stuff

what for?

This page is about the conversational phrase what for?

Meaning

You can say this if you want to know the purpose of something.

For example

  • "I'm getting a second job."
    "What for? You already make lots of money."

  • "I'm going to the bank."
    "What for? Have you run out of money again?"

Quick Quiz

You can say "What for?" after someone says

a. "I'm feeling sick."

b. "I'm getting better."

c. "I'm seeing a doctor."

Contributor: Matt Errey