All the dogs is licking him.

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by bosh56, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. bosh56 New Member

    Spanish, Mexico

    Hello everybody!

    I have a trouble with this sentence: All dogs is licking him. Is this sentence grammatically right? I found it in the book titled "White Fang"", By Jack London.

    Thank you in advance.
  2. SevenDays Senior Member

    No, it's not grammatically correct. It should be are because "all" refers to "dogs," which is plural; however, keep in mind that "all dogs is licking him" is part of a quote, of someone talking, and the character is using coloquial language, where grammar rules are often broken. You'll see that coloquial usage in other parts of the quote ("ain't got no"; "mebbe," meaning, I think, "maybe"):

    "That dam wolf won't work. Won't eat. Ain't got no spunk let. All the dogs is licking him. Wants to know what has become of you, and I don't know how to tell him. Mebbe he is going to die."

  3. bosh56 New Member

    Spanish, Mexico
    Thank you SevenDays. It seems so simple that I refused the idea that it could be a mistake from the printer.
  4. Cal inhibes Senior Member

    It reminds me of Porgy´s aria: "Bess, now you is my woman".
  5. gengo

    gengo Senior Member

    It is NOT a printer's mistake. It is spoken dialect. The mother of my childhood best friend speaks like this, using "is" for all conjugations.

    They's (they is) going tonight.
    Him and his sister is working there.

    It sounds uneducated, but it's not that rare. Your translation should also use "street Spanish," such as saying "dijistes" instead of "dijiste."

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