Whatever or What Ever? (English Grammar Explained)

In most English the proper spelling is Whatever. However, there are some instances when you would use What Ever instead.

Some people separate the what and the ever to add emphasis on the second word. “What ever do you mean by that?” In this case, the ever is also a word that can be replaced with something like “on earth”. “What on earth do you mean by that?”

Whatever, where the words are combined, typically implies one of two things. It can mean “anything at all” such as in the following sentence. “Please eat whatever you want.” It can also mean “it doesn’t matter what” such as in the following sentence. “Get me whatever looks good.”

In more recent years Whatever has also become a word used to indicate apathy. Such as in the sentence “Whatever, I don’t care.”

Examples of Whatever

Here are some examples of when to use Whatever.

  • When you go to the store buy whatever fruits or vegetables look good.
  • I can’t find whatever book it was you asked for.
  • “Sara, do you want chicken for dinner?” mom asked.
    “Sure, whatever.” Sara mumbled.
  • He believes whatever she tells him.
  • Whatever is wrong with that car can’t be fixed in a few days.
  • Whatever you think, I’m sure you’re wrong.
  • Whatever happens, don’t panic.
  • The world is your oyster, your pearl, whatever you want it to be.
  • You can make whatever you want with your art supplies.
  • Please clean up whatever mess you make.
  • I’ll have whatever he is having.
  • I love chocolate. I’ll eat whatever you bring me so long as it is chocolate.
  • I can do whatever he can do.
  • Name your price, I’ll pay whatever you are asking.
  • He said I should paint the town red, whatever that means.
  • Teens always do whatever they want.

Examples of What Ever

Here are some examples of when to use What Ever.

  • What ever happened to Sarah Thompson?
  • What ever do you mean by that?
  • What ever happened to “hello”?
  • What ever could have happened to him?
  • What ever is going on?
  • What ever happened to doing the right thing?
  • What ever gave you the idea I couldn’t handle this on my own?
  • What ever could he have meant by that?
  • What ever do you do when you go away on the weekends?
  • What ever did he do to make her so angry?
  • What ever happened to that teacher who retired when we were seniors?