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Science does not answer why. I became a PhD student because I wanted to understand why things are the way they are.. Me: Then you will be sorely disappointed by your studies.

When You Ask Why: It's Ok to Ask

Why do we have color? Student: But science does explains gravity! And it explains why the planets orbit the sun, and the atmosphere clings to the earth! It does not tell us why. Me: Congratulations. I used to love the stories. It was like Santa Claus! My parents had been entertaining me with all these lies! Me: Well, you will have to give up certain childish misconceptions about science to become a scientist. First, Santa Claus is real. Student: How can Santa Claus be real? The evidence is pretty convincing.

The theory of Santa Claus predicts presents will appear under a certain type of tree, on a certain hour, at a certain day. And the experimental results are consistent with this theory. There the presents are, under the trees. Not some obese, bearded old man with flying reindeer! You can be Santa, because Santa is a conceptual symbol for generosity — for obtaining the feeling of giving a gift without any expectation of reciprocity.

But for the rest of us Sometimes it feels like the thing we want most in life is just outside of our reach.


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Like we can see it in the distance and we are running toward it but we look down and we are just running in place. And the one question I keep getting asked about what I am working towards is. I have been asked that one word more times in the past year than I can count Sometimes, if you're like me, I don't always have a clear answer to the reason that I want the things that I want.

There is just something in my heart that is leading me toward these things. Next time someone asks you WHY you want to do something or want something or someone If you are anything like me, when I find something that I want, I don't give up.. I don't know how to stop myself from doing all that I can to get what I want. Maybe that sounds selfish, and this might sound cliche but, life really is too short to not be happy. Be selfish. Go after what you want. Comment Eric, you are explaining it just fine.

Evidently I'm not doing such a great job, as I understand your point but you don't get mine :- I rephrased the question in 3: You want to know why? Or: Are you asking the question 'Why'?


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Either a direct question checking whether that is the question or a rhetorical one and the speaker goes on to answer straight after see Anhand Beispiel in 3: "Why, you ask? Comment You're commenting that I'm asking why. Es ist eine Aussage in allem ausser im grammikalischen Sinn. Daher nennt man es auch eine rhetorische Frage.

Die Diskussion folgt der Idee, warum ich oben "Why , do you ask? In der von Ffive gewuenschten Verwendung ist es entweder eine Aussage oder eine rhetorische Frage mit implizierter positiver Antwort. In diesen Faellen wird meinem Bauchgefuehl nach im E die Frage eher nicht mit "to do" gebildet, sondern ohne Inversion. Die Bildung ohne Inversion verstaerkt den rhetorischen Charakter der Frage. In den aequivalenten Beispielen mit "do" ist die Moeglichkeit einer negativen Antwort schon eher gegeben: Do you want to know the time? Did you ask for my name?

Oder vergleicht diese beiden: He insulted your husband? Did he insult your husband?


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  8. Comment I agree with eric and Mausling that the clause 'you ask' is grammatically a statement rather than a question. If it were a question, it would be phrased with an auxiliary verb: 'Are you asking why? That doesn't express the same idea; it's not a rhetorical question but a genuine one, literally trying to understand what the other person is saying, whether he really does want to know why. Perhaps he mumbled, or doesn't speak English well, or expressed himself in a very roundabout way.

    Maybe he wanted to know when, or where, or who. But the word 'why' is a question, and whether you write it with a question mark, either immediately after it or at the end of the whole sentence, seems to me to depend, as Sachs suggests, on whether you want to highlight the rhetorical question, with a rising tone in your voice, or whether it's so rhetorical, so obvious, that you don't even need to do that, you can just take it as an assumption. Comment I don't consider it a rethorical question. You, hm, and I have a discussion, and we may differ in opinions with an approach proposed by myself.

    You look puzzled. I say: Why, you ask. I proposed it because I think Comment But that's exactly what a rethorical question is.

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    "why?" you ask or why, you ask?

    You know already that there will come a "why" by the puzzled look, so all you do, is to put something in words you actually don't have to mention, because it's already clear for both of you without a word. Comment As far as I'm concerned, I'd say that "Why, you ask? On the one hand there is the implied question by the other party in the conversation, but on the other hand I would interpret it as the speaker assuming, and indeed asking, whether the other party is asking "why".

    One could rephrase it as "I assume you will want to know why? It is the sort of assumed question I would expect in a monologue, where the speaker is trying to involve his audience. Well, the answer is simple- I had completely run out of black sock s Comment Finally we are in agreement about the meaning.

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    It took 42 entries, but hey, we did it! Well, after all the 5th entry the question had already settled the translation, but LEO Forum is a synonym for "endless Discussions", and as long as those discussions take place in a friendly manner, like this one, it's fun to be a part of it. Comment 37 I'm not sure I understand; is your point that 'you ask' is not a question but 'Why? To take something that uses an embedded exclamation, removing the confusing question word: Impossible, you say? Impossible, you say? Nay, says my friend the horse. The phrase 'you say' isn't a question, but 'Impossible, you say?

    Comment Nothing that complicated, CM2. All I wanted to say was, that "Why, you ask" can be a statement as well as a rhetorical question, so there isn't one correct answer if the sentence has to be written with a ". Both are stylistical devices, but the question mark at least gives the counterpart the chance to react whilst the full stop shows an absolute security and doesn't expect any confirmation.

    Comment I can speak to animals. Are you a little hoarse?

    Enigma - Why [HQ]

    Comment Oh, sorry, I meant to ask hm--us but got the number wrong! Your comment was indeed less complicated, Sachs, in that I think I understood it :- 46 I'm just a bear of little brain We're just having an interesting conversation about whether or not you need the question mark. I'd like to hear the arguments for and against, as I may need to write something similar in a translation one day and would like to be sure of the punctuation.

    Do we really need to start a new thread? You keep telling us you have the answer, so we're not getting in the way of the original point.

    How to Lead a Well Balanced Life

    Comment I started this thread, and am about to ask it be closed Ffive: Where did you get the idea that the original poster "owns" the thread? What a weird idea. There are plenty of LEO queries that start interesting discussions and wander widely from the original point. That's one of the great things about LEO. If you don't like a thread, just stop reading it. Leave us alone. Comment Sorry I'm late to the party. I agree with Sachs 45 that "Why, you ask" can be either a statement or a question. Obviously, "Why? It is embedded in another utterance.

    If I am absolutely certain that the partner in the conversation is posing that question or I choose to IMpose that question , I make the statement: "Why? If I have any doubt and wish to make certain, I pose the question: "Why, you ask? It is also a nice rhetorical device. Just remember: The mane thing is to keep the mane thing the mane thing. Forums Trainer Courses.

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