Under the sun

bmo

Senior Member
Taiwan
Under the sun is the same as in the world or on earth, but it can't replace on earth in the following sentence, Agree? (Because on earth has a different meaning here.)

Thanks.

What on earth did he do that for?
 
  • Sr. Moose

    Banned
    Frostbite Falls, Alces and English
    Hi. "What on Earth" is a very common and set expression, but "What under the sun did he do that for?" makes sense and sounds great to me. Kind of creative, too!
     

    coiffe

    Senior Member
    USA
    American English
    Hi. "What on Earth" is a very common and set expression, but "What under the sun did he do that for?" makes sense and sounds great to me. Kind of creative, too!
    for what reason on earth ... for what reason under the sun ... it's not quite right, is it? What are the common expressions with "under the sun"?
     

    NTV

    Banned
    Japanese
    I don't think we can say what under the sun to mean what on earth.


    Here's how on earth is used:
    http://www.oxfordadvancedlearnersdictionary.com/dictionary/earth
    how, why, where, who, etc. on earth
    (informal) used to emphasize the question you are asking when you are surprised or angry or cannot think of an obvious answer
    - What on earth are you doing?
    - How on earth can she afford that?

    Here's how under the sun is used:
    http://www.oxfordadvancedlearnersdictionary.com/dictionary/sun_1
    under the sun
    used to emphasize that you are talking about a very large number of things
    - We talked about everything under the sun.
    - I've been called all the names under the sun!

    Do you think the phrases are interchangeable?
     
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