Usage of "Who all"

I heard this expression “Who all” being used in Indian English a lot.

For example, please look at the sentences below

“Who all are coming to the party?”
“Who all want to come to movies with me?”

Is such a usage correct? Please clarify.

This is colloquial usage that is also characteristic of southern US dialects. I would say it’s nonstandard, but not bad enough to make someone sound ignorant of the language.

Why shouldn’t it be correct? If many IndEng speakers use it commonly, of course it’s correct - in Indian English, that is.

Would you call these IndEng examples incorrect?

I am understanding it.
She is knowing the answer

Why do you associate the word “nonstandard” with “bad”? Did you mean to write “substandard”?

Oh, here we go again.

People in India can talk any way they want. They can replace every form of tag question with a single “is it?” if they want. They can change the past tense of “go” from “went” to “was go” if they want. They can use such deviant pronunciation that no native speaker can understand them, if they want. They can do all kinds of things to the English language in India if they want to, but if their goal is clear communication in an international context, then they have to drop all those eccentricities and adhere to the general standard. Positively reinforcing all those Indianisms just intensifies their misery when they have to use English with people abroad. Indians are famous among native English speakers and foreigners living in English-speaking countries for being next to impossible to understand at times, and I know plenty of Mexicans and Germans who would prefer that their Indian colleagues had learned “real” English.

Yes. Those two stative verbs are not used in continuous tenses. When “to know” is used in the continuous, it sounds like knowing “in the Biblical sense” (i.e., an action), so it can sound like the person is having sex with the answer.

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Did I write “substandard”, or did I write “nonstandard”? Do you think I don’t know my own language?

You have got to be a beginning student in a linguistics department somewhere. That would be the most probable reason you’d be moralizing with me like that and are willing to accept any nonstandard usage without regard for the communicative outcome for the speaker.

I’ve known that some verbs like ‘love’, ‘know’, ‘understand’ are not supposed to be used in progressive forms, unless they are not used in their general sense.
(Please correct me if I am wrong)

But I saw this caption somewhere --‘I’m loving it’.

Is it correct to say so?

You’re right.

Technically, it’s not correct. It’s slang that means, “I find this experience temporarily extremely pleasurable.”

‘temporarily extremely pleasurable’… Good one :slight_smile:

And what does “who all” in that sentence mean? What’s thr difference between the two usage "“Who all are coming to the party?” and “Who are coming to the party?”

Who are coming to the party?” isn’t possible, because when asking a question, “who” always requires a third-person singular verb form, so it has to be, “Who is coming to the party?”

When some people say, “Who all are coming to the party?” they mean, “Who is coming to the party?” but they assume the answer will include more than one person.

Most native speakers I know are bidialectal. Aren’t you? Most native speakers can use there home “dialect” for intranational purposes and the standard dialect for international communication. I know a lot of Indians who can do the same.

Even so, it doesn’t make “who are…?” incorrect in Indian English, does it? That was the question.

I’m a near-native speaker and I find many Americans and their films hard to understand at times. A little familiarisation with accent and usage other than your own goes a long way.

<Did I write “substandard”, or did I write “nonstandard”? Do you think I don’t know my own language?>

Is there a need for you to be so rude, Jamie?

Wrong on all counts there, Jamie.

What do you mean by “technically” there, Jamie?


I’m multilingual, but my native dialect of English is the North American broadcast variety.

Yes, this is an elementary concept of linguistics.

The problem for most Indians is that they CAN’T do the same. Their grammar and vocabulary problems are fossilized, and they use odd forms like “was been go” no matter who they’re trying to talk to or how formal or international they want to be. Telling these people they can do whatever floats their boat and that everything is beautiful in its own way does them a disservice if they want to be able to speak more than their local non-native variety.

Probably because you hear with an accent.

What’s the difference whether I understand him? Just being understandable isn’t sufficient in professional communication.

Here’s a funny video about Indian English.

I think you’ll find that it’s a fact, Jamie.

I understand British English films.

Now that does sound like elementary linguistics.

I see you don’t know much about Indian English.

But their variety IS native. There are many native variet¡es of English. In my country, Nigeria, for example, many people have Nigerian English as their native variety.

I do know plenty about it. I deal with it in people on a daily basis. I also read Indian magazines from time to time (in which the English can range from very good to almost unintelligible), and I’ve got a shelf of dictionaries of Indian English that I use regularly.

Yes. I have also had to deal quite a bit with that Nigerian English, which is partly a pidgin or creole language. They also usually have a lot of fossilized errors (not merely “alternative forms”), and it blocks their advancement in professions where correct English is necessary. These people do not speak any sort of variety natively, but began life speaking Ibo, Yoruba or some other Nigerian language as a native language, and they didn’t learn English until they got to school. However, they will still bogusly claim that English is their first language, not because it really is, but because they think of their African language as “not a language”.

Really? Can you name them for us?

Well, you’re at least good for a laugh, Jamie. Go learn about Nigerian English.

In fact:

please go learn about Nigeria. You’re embarrassing yourself with your silly comments.

I’ve studied about it, and it comes to me on its own two legs, so I get to see it in real life. I love those statements like, “A won go chop,” or, “Meku no pafuka mai bag.” Of course, you would say those are not incorrect English in Nigeria, so in your opinion they should be accepted everywhere.

Your trained inability to make judgments about the appropriateness of a given language variety for various social and professional contexts is more embarrassing than you realize.

As far as English is concerned, appropriateness is open to debate - unless you’ve formed your own Royal Academy of English, that is. Have you?

BTW, would you say that this is incorrect English?

Did you have dinner yet?

Once more:

“Who all are coming to the party?”
“Who all want to come to movies with me?”

are correct in Indian English. Nuff said.

If one wants to do extended business with/in India, which many do these days, why not learn a little Indian English? Don’t be lazy.


“Choosing the appropriate functional style and switching freely from one to another is done automatically by native speakers on the basis of complex psychological and social clues that are part of cultural and linguistic experience. Foreign learners are often unable to perform or even comprehend these switches because their level of acquired English is functionally flat. ESL teachers should be ready to offer explicit advice and concrete examples about the global, regional, social, and situational dimensions of English, and plan strategies and design exercises directing students to a broader understanding of this diverse language.” … /de/ae.pdf

There you go! You’re making my point for me!

Indian speakers are foreign learners of English – usually taught English by foreign learners, as well – and for most of them their acquired level of English is functionally flat. Few of them can code switch from “Indian English” to another form (you’re asking me to do what these Indian speakers generally cannot, by the way), and most of them can’t “even comprehend these switches”. I see them daily. If they were able to “choose the appropriate functional style” and “switch freely from one to another”, they could keep themselves out of ESL class and spend their valuable time in regular college courses. However, they can’t do either.

Now that you’ve made my point for me, I’m done with this discussion unless some other person chimes in. You’ve spent a lot of time “teaching” me elementary concepts of sociolinguistics as if I couldn’t possibly have heard of them, even though I learned them many times over years ago, and even had to teach them for a few years. These concepts are useful in ridding people of some of their prejudices based on language, but they are frequently dysfunctional in the academic and working worlds.