Phrase: “what on earth”

This is an expression, which is normally used at the beginning of a sentence to make it intense or stronger. It is used to indicate irritation, surprise, etc. Here are a few examples. What on earth is Suman trying to do? * What on earth is that terrible smell? * What on earth could Rohan possibly want?

S. Upendran , The Hindu- ‘Know Your English’ Series, October 29, 2002

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