When it comes to an understanding the English language, one of the most important words to understand is “what.” This seemingly simple word can have a variety of meanings and applications depending on how it is used in a sentence.

In its simplest form, “what” can be used as an interrogative pronoun that asks for information about something or someone. For example: What did you do last night? In this context, what is being used to inquire about another person’s activities from the previous evening?

It can also be used as an adjective when asking questions such as: What kind of food do you like? Here is what modifies food and inquires which type or category someone enjoys eating. Additionally, “what” may also serve as an adverb when seeking details regarding manner or degree, e.g., How much money did he spend? – What amount did he spend?

Finally, “what” may function in a declarative sense where it expresses surprise at specific facts, e.g.., I just found out she got married! –What?! Here is what indicates shock on behalf of whoever made this statement – they were not expecting such news!

Overall, we see that although small in size, “What” packs quite a punch about its various uses within sentences and conversations alike – making it one powerful little word indeed!