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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Post contraction of does with What.....

    Hi

    I have just recently read the book The Story of Doctor Dolittle.

    One sentence in there is...

    "What's that mean?" said the Doctor.

    This is a contraction for What does......

    I have looked in my grammar book and this is not in there, which makes me think grammatically this is wrong but in spoken english maybe it is ok?? When i read this I immediately thought of an english accent and wonder if it is part of spoken british english.

    is it a common phrase for Americans?

    Two of my co-workers say they heard it all the time in England and Europe....

    I still think it is wrong....

    Any help on understanding this would be very much appreciated!!

  2. #2
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    2,585
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    Default Re: contraction of does with What.....

    Hello Riceball

    "What's" for "what does" is moderately common in spoken informal BrE, but not all speakers would use it. You would be more likely to hear it in a non-standard variety of British English, for instance.

    I'm not sure what its status is in American English maybe another member can help!

    MrP

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