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I think that 知るかよ! means "like I would know!"/"hell, if I know!" and that マジかよ! means something like "[are you/is this] for real?"/"seriously?", but is there an underlying rule behind the ~かよ pattern seen at the end of sentences?

If I was to, for example, say (それを)食べるかよ, what kind of a meaning would it have?

Can ~かよ also be used as an ordinary question? Does it make a rhetorical question?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

is a sentence final particle that makes a question, and is a sentence final particle that adds the subject's attitude. Ignoring the meaning added by , which does not affect the core meaning of the sentence, all of the sentences you have are questions. And in all of your examples, they are rhetorical questions.

literally: 'Do I know/bother about it?'
'I don't know/bother about it!'

literally: 'Is that serious?'
'I can't believe it!'

literally: 'Will I eat it?'
'I won't eat it!'


Note that the addition of adds subject's attitude, which makes it difficult to interpret the sentences as literal questions.

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Note that 知るか。 / 食べる(もん)か! are both easily recognizable as non-questions even without . However, 食べるのか seems (to me) to be a literal question without . – Hyperworm Apr 7 '12 at 13:27
食べるのか can be rhetorical in several ways: "Are you ever going to eat it?", "Am I supposed to eat it?", etc. – user458 Apr 7 '12 at 15:02

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