What the 's here stands for?

Hi teachers,

I want to know what the 's here stands for.
Does it come from is ? If it is, why does things (plural) use with is (singular)?

Thanks in advance


Hi Jupiter,

You would imagine that the 's stands for is and probably you’re right. It’s simply, I think, that it’s easier to say: How’s things? than if you tried to contract How are things?


Hi Alan,

Thanks for your quick response.
You wrote I can be right that 's could stand for is.
[color=blue]But why do we use is with plural (things)?



Hi jupiter,

As a rule you don’t use is with plural nouns but as I tried to point out, this is an anomaly. It’s not grammatical but conversational and conversational/idiomatic/slang expressions don’t always follow the rules of grammar!


We do the same thing in spoken English with There’s and where’s, Jupiter. They’re easier to say than there’re, where’re:

Wow! There’s a lot of people in line! Where’s my pencils?, etc.

Not formally grammatical, as Alan makes clear, but certainly common in the casual spoken language.

Thank you, Mr. Micawber and Alan for the information. But if memory serves me correctly Michael Swan points at them as incorrect sentences.(Not that I am pretty sure of it!)


Hi Tom
Hope you don’t mind my butting in here… :wink:

I’m sure he does, Tom. But I’m equally sure that even Michael Swan is aware of what happens in reality: Not everything that comes out of a native speaker’s mouth is grammatically correct. Native speakers make plenty of mistakes too. And that was Jupiter’s question. He asked about a grammatically incorrect “native-speaker” sentence — a sentence which you will often hear from a native speaker in informal spoken English. MM simply added further examples of the same sort of mistake. Both Alan and MM gave the reason why this particular mistake is often made by native speakers: it’s simply easier to pronounce.


Is Zizou’s famous and unfortunate head-butt responsible for this sudden ‘butting’ craze :slight_smile: ? The term pops up just about everywhere these days!

Never fear, Conchita

I shan’t be using butt again. Not in this thread anyway. No ifs, ands, or but(t)s about it.

[size=75](Did that sound suitably British? 8) ) [/size]

Hi all of you,

It was interesting to read your discussion.
I’m pretty much clear now.

[color=blue]Thanks a million times! (Is it correct?)