No matter what happens VS Whatever happens

quietdandelion

Banned
Formosa/Chinese
Mom said we're going to move next year no matter what.
Mom ... whatever.
Mom ... no matter what happens.
Mom ... whatever happens.


Do all of the above wordings read equally well? If yes, do they convey the same meaning? Thanks.
 
  • Forero

    Senior Member
    "No matter what" = without fail.
    "No matter what happens" = regardless of how things turn out.
    "Whatever happens" = regardless of what may happen between now and then.

    "Whatever happens" is more abstract than the others and modifies more than "to move next year". I would insist on either adding a comma -

    Mom said we're going to move next year, whatever happens.

    - or moving the absolute construction -

    Mom said that, whatever happens, we're going to move next year.

    Whatever happens, Mom said we're going to move next year.
     

    Ocham

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Added to previous thread.
    Cagey, moderator

    Could anyone give some hint?

    In the following two examples, I'd like to know which is more commonly used.
    When I searched Google, I got the result which obviously shows #1 is far more
    prevalent.

    #1 No matter what happens, I'll stand by you.
    #2 Whatever happens, I'll stand by you.

    But, when I searched Google Ngram Viewer, the result was contrary. Does it
    have anything to do with the difference of document? In other words, #2 is
    more used in the formal written text while #1 is more used in your daily use.
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Hello, Ocham. Though I can't explain why the search engine and the Ngram viewer offer different results, I can tell you that both phrases are commonly used.
     

    lingkky

    Senior Member
    chinese
    Added to previous thread.
    Cagey, moderator

    No matter what/whatever happens, I will be there.

    What or whatever?
     
    Last edited by a moderator:
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