grammar question

kamistry
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This is a writing question.  

Do people say, "Why we might"  like this:

"I can't let the mechanic go now. What would happen if something broke in the middle of the dessert.  Why I might not know what to do at all."

Is this something people say?
Using "Why I might" or "Why we might"

Maybe it is not correct grammar, but do people say this?
Since it is used in quote, I think it is safe, but I am trying to find out if
1) if why and might can be used like this
2) if it is correct grammar or not

I guess the second question is less important, because the passage is in a quotation of what someone says...
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I believe that there should be a comma after "Why".  For that matter, "Why" could be left out altogether.  It's like saying "Hey, I might not know....".

Yes, people say it.  If you are quoting what someone said, I'd leave it in.  Otherwise, I'd avoid using "Why" in this case.
AlanConsultant

Commented:
Hi,

I am going to break my own rule, and comment on a grammatical question.  This will mean that I can almost guarantee that there will be errors in my comment, both in terms of spelling and grammar.

Strictly speaking, you should have a verbal pause, demonstrated in written form using a comma, after the initial 'why'.

It is something that feels perhaps a little old fashioned now, and is generally redundant - sometimes used as a verbal filler to give the speaker a little more time to think about what they really want to say, or simply as a habit.

There is a current fashion, if I can use that word, that I have heard most frequently in teenage girls, to substitute the expression 'yeah' in place of the 'why' in your example.

I'm sure that everything I have written will vary by geographical location, and over time.

Alan.
EirmanChief Operations Manager

Commented:
It would be worth including this topic in any future writing/grammatical questions ...
http://www.experts-exchange.com/topics/proofreading/

Why I might not know what to do at all
As a stand-alone sentence, this does not make any sense.
It is certainly not in common usage in the UK & Ireland.

It would be better phrased as .....
I might not know what to do at all.
I may not know what to do at all.
I just don't know what I would do.


P.S.  Dessert = A sweet treat at the end of a meal (3rd course)
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Why is an interesting word. It is used to express surprise or used in a question.

Your phrase:
"I can't let the mechanic go now. What would happen if something broke in the middle of the dessert.  Why I might not know what to do at all."

Seems awkward with the word "why" in it.
Better grammar without using the word why.
"I can't let the mechanic go now. Because I might not know what to do."
"I can't let the mechanic go now. I might not know what to do.?

Why is used in questions and a for surprise.
Examples:
a. We (your spouse speaking of you both) can let the mechanic go. "Why? I might not know what to do.
b. Why do we need to keep the mechanic? Because we might not know what to do on the dessert trip.
c. That was smart of you to keep the mechanic. "Why thank you very much."
d. Why should we consider keeping the mechanic? Because we might not know what to do.

And in many of those the word "why" can be totally left out.
d. Why should we keep the mechanic can be stated "Should we keep the mechanic? Yes because we might not know what to do with some car problem.
c. That was smart of you to keep them mechanic. Thank you (or Well thank you.)
b. Do we need to keep the mechanic? Yes, we might not know what to do.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/why
Commented:
I replaced Why with Well.
I thought it was safer.

Author

Commented:
The safest route is to replace Why with Well

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