Why vs what for? Question words

Why vs what for? Both have almost the same meaning as why, they might be interchangeable but not always. What … for has different contextual shades.

What are you reading this book for? (purpose, goal: what do you wan to achieve?)

You are always reading this book. What for? (purpose, goal: what do you wan to achieve?)

For what are you reading this book? (purpose, goal: what do you wan to achieve?)

Why are you reading this book? (reason: what’s the reason you are reading this book?)

one of the sources: wikipedia.org

Back to: Question words, interrogative words, WH question words, wh-words, interrogative pronouns (all of these mean the same)

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