Meaning of WHY ON EARTH - A Short English Lesson with Subtitles

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Bob's Short English Lessons
Published at : 20 Jan 2021
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READ ALONG TO PRACTICE YOUR ENGLISH AND TO LEARN THE MEANING OF WHY ON EARTH: So in English we sometimes add the words "on" and "earth" to a question for emphasis. Sometimes we ask questions like, "Why on earth did you buy that car?" You could, of course, just say, "Why did you buy that car?" Maybe imagine a situation where your brother bought a really fancy car or a really expensive car, you could say, "Why did you buy that car?" But if you're actually surprised and you wanna add a little bit of emphasis to the question you could say to your brother, "Why on earth did you buy that car?" I'm not sure if your brother will have a good answer but certainly in English we often add the words "on earth" to a question in order to give it a little bit more emphasis. Oftentimes I will be talking to my children and I will ask a lot of why questions like, "Why on earth did you wear shoes to school "when there's so much mud around? "You should have worn boots." So, "Why on earth did you wear shoes?"

We actually add the words "on earth" to a whole bunch of different question words. You can ask questions like, "What on earth were you thinking driving so fast?" You could ask questions like, "Where on earth did you get that nice shirt?" You could ask questions like, "How on earth were you able to afford such a fancy car?" Or you could say something like, "When on earth did you find the time to go shopping?" So, "on earth," is simply a way of emphasizing the question we are asking. We do use it a lot. I'm Bob the Canadian and you're learning English with me, hopefully every day, and I hope you're having a good day.

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