what's wrong vs. what's the matter v.s what's the problem

Sun14

Senior Member
Chinese
Hello, my friends,

I was wondering whether we could say all of them to someone when there are something wrong with them:

A: You look pale, what's wrong/what's the matter/what's the problem with you?

B: I have a stomachache.

Thoughts and context: A and B are friends when A found B looked pale he wanted to know what the matter was.
 
  • Franco-filly

    Senior Member
    English - Southern England
    If they simple look pale or unwell I think I'd be more likely to ask "[You look pale/ill] Are you OK?" "Do you feel OK?" - leaving them to give more details if they feel so inclined.
    If they had said something like "I feel ill today?" then I might ask "Why, what's the matter with you?"
     

    Sun14

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    If I don't use with you, do you have different idea?

    A: You look pale, what's wrong/what's the matter/what's the problem?

    B: I have a stomachache.

    Thoughts and context: A and B are friends when A found B looked pale he wanted to know what the matter was.
     

    Sun14

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    That doesn't work. It's not idiomatic in that context and it sounds flippant.

    Got it. Thank you very much. So generally, what's the matter and what's wrong is almost the same but what's the problem always refers to some severe thing and what's the trouble are a quite different idea?
     
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