Was soll das denn?!

islandinthesun

Senior Member
India - Hindi
Does it make sense for someone to go, "Was soll das denn?!" at discovering inappropriate texts on their partner's phone?
 
  • Hutschi

    Senior Member
    I think that the word order ''Was soll denn das?'' is more common/idiomatic.
    Google Books Ngram Viewer
    I don't know.

    Note that it is used usuall (and in the given situation) in spoken language. So you cannot directly compare to the engram viewer.


    Was soll das denn? - "Das" is emphasized and stressed in the given context. It refers to the content. What (unappropriate) thing is that here!?

    Was soll denn das? - This refers more to the motivation. Usually it continues somehow: Stop it!

    ---
    In spoken form, you can change the intonation, so it might be others, I gave the stress as I use it and heard it.

    Additional particles can change it again:


    Was soll denn das da? -- = This refers very clear to the thing.

    PS: Summary: I agree to Frieder in #4.

    In contrast, "Was soll das denn?!" means that this happens all the time - a kind of weary rhetorical question. Same goes for "Was soll denn das?".:tick:

    I agree. But it is harder to speak than "Was soll denn das!?"
     

    JClaudeK

    Senior Member
    Français France, Deutsch (SW-Dtl.)
    Was soll das denn?!" means that this happens all the time - a kind of weary rhetorical question.
    What do you mean by "means that this happens all the time" ?

    Usually, when I say "Was soll das denn?!" it's short for "Was soll das denn heißen/ bedeuten?/ Was soll der Quatsch!?/ Warum machst du das?"
    It expresses disapproval.
     

    Hutschi

    Senior Member
    Usually, when I say "Was soll das denn?!" it's short for "Was soll das denn heißen/ bedeuten?/ Was soll der Quatsch!?/ Warum machst du das?"
    I would say:"Was soll das denn?" for - Was soll der Quatsch!?
    "Was soll das denn?!" works with Warum machst du das? - as question.

    However: Not only stress is essential but also intonation and context.
     
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