to roll your eyes at for

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Agito a42, Sep 14, 2017.

  1. Agito a42

    Agito a42 Senior Member

    Source: Drive (2011), an American crime thriller film.

    A mobster to a woman he knows: What the fuck you rolling your eyes at for?

    I wonder if this sentence is correct. Shouldn't the mobster have left out one of the prepositions?
  2. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    American English
    To "roll your eyes at" can express disbelief, wonderment, criticism, etc., as in "She rolled her eyes at her friend's naive comment."

    "What ... for" equals "Why."
    So the sentence can be read as "Why are you rolling your eyes?" The context will tell you what she was rolling her eyes at.
  3. GreenWhiteBlue

    GreenWhiteBlue Senior Member

    The City of New York
    USA - English
    Copyright is completely correct.

    I will also note that mobsters in the United States are not known for the excellence or the superiority of their grammar, or their usage of English. Indeed, mobsters are generally thought of as being uneducated, and therefore are expected to use ungrammatical and inelegant language.

    Are mobsters in Russia thought of as examples of perfect grammar, and excellent linguistic style?
  4. Agito a42

    Agito a42 Senior Member

    Thank you, Copyright, GWB. So the 'what' in his question is used as a complement for both prepositions. He is simultaneously asking her two questions: (1) what is she rolling her eyes at, and (2) what is she rolling her eyes for.

    Well, I would like them this way, but their language is 90% or so but appalling profanity, your ears would "wither" to hear them :).
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2017

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