Whatsoever vs at all

Discussion in 'English Only' started by whitzk81, May 4, 2012.

  1. whitzk81 New Member

    Hello all.
    My question is: would the word whatsoever be always acceptable instead of at all, or are there cases when the use of whatsoever would sound incorrect or just sound bad?

    I never use the word whatsoever, I prefer using at all. I'd never say "I haven't eaten whatsoever", I'd say "I haven't eaten at all".
    Is the sentence "I haven't eaten whatsoever" even correct??

    I was just wondering....

    Q2: Whatsoever could also be a rather archaic substitute of whatever, right?
  2. boozer Senior Member

    Not at all. Which, I think, also answers your first question about their universal interchageability :)
  3. whitzk81 New Member

    That's what I thought. Just wanted to be sure about it. Thanks :)
  4. pwmeek

    pwmeek Senior Member

    SE Michigan, USA
    English - American
    You could say, "I haven't eaten anything whatsoever," which would be more emphatic than "...at all." I might use whatsoever like that to emphasize to a doctor that I had been fasting as directed (with no exceptions) before some test or operation.
  5. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    English - British
    'Whatsoever' is not archaic. It is regularly used in final position as a more emphatic form of 'whatever'.

    Both these words, because they include 'what', can only be used as a final intensifier when they have a noun or equivalent to refer back to.
    'At all' is more general and can refer to a verb or adverbial idea as well as a noun equivalent.

    Thus 'at all' has wider scope, but both 'whatever' and 'whatsoever' are good current expressions.

    That sentence does not work at all. :tick:
    That sentence does not work whatever. :cross:
    That sentence does not work whatsoever. :cross:

    That sentence makes no sense at all. :tick:
    That sentence makes no sense whatever. :tick:
    That sentence makes no sense whatsoever. :tick:

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