What part of speech is “what”

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'what' can be used as an adjective to describe something when used in the phrase 'what have you'. In this context, it is used to refer to unspecified or unknown facts, objects, or people.

1. 'What have you done to prepare for this meeting?'

2. 'What other information do you have on this topic?'

3. 'What have you heard about this new restaurant?'

When using this phrase, be sure to convey a sense of openness and inclusion to ensure that the reader or listener is encouraged to contribute to the conversation and share any information that may be relevant.


a 'what' is a pronoun used to refer to an unknown identity, object, or phenomena. It is commonly used to ask questions as its function is to elicit information. When used alone, the word has a interrogative meaning and is almost always followed by a noun to provide more specificity.

1. 'What color is the dress?'

2. 'What did you do last night?'

3. 'What do you mean by that?'

In casual situations, 'what' can be used in a more conversational, informal way such as 'What's up?' or 'What's going on?' however in formal settings such as academic papers or legal documents, these more casual versions of 'what' should not be used.


'what' can also be used as an adverb to suggest an unknown fact or situation.

1. 'It's raining so hard, I wonder what will happen.'

2. 'What will be will be.'

3. 'We have to wait and see what comes next.'

When using this adverb, ensure that what is being referred to is unknown and make sure to set a tone of ambiguity.


'What' can also be used as an interjection to express surprise or confusion.

1. 'What! You did what?!'

2. 'What?! Are you serious?'

3. 'What in the world happened?'

When using this Interjection, make sure to emphasize the word by emphasizing its pronunciation or adding the appropriate emotion or intonation to the word for maximum effect.

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