What does/is that mean?

LibertadySutileza

Member
Spain-Spanish
Hi everybody!

I've just listened the phrase "What is that mean?" although I used to use the What does it mean form, Is there any difference? Can it be that one is it used in the american english? because I've listened this first one in an american lecture.

Thanks a lot :)
 
  • Jim2996

    Senior Member
    American English
    "What is that mean?" is simply wrong. English speakers do make mistakes.

    Perhaps what he meant to say was "What is the meaning of that?"

    "What does that/it mean?" is also correct.
     

    Dosamuno

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    Ellipsis is a problem for language learners.
    As gengo pointed out in another thread, Americans will often ask
    "Jeet yet?"
    This means "Did you eat yet?"

    In Spain, it took me a while to understand that
    "'sta por otro lao" meant "Está por el otro lado"

    And these are just two examples!

    In spoken English, "What does that mean?" often comes out like
    "What dazzat mean" or "Whazzat mean?" which sound more like "What is that mean?"
    than "What does that mean?"

    Perhaps that's what is said at the beginning of the move.
    If it's a dvd, check out the subtitles.
     

    Circunflejo

    Senior Member
    Castellano de Castilla
    Sí.
    What's that? - What is.......?
    What's that mean? - What does.....?
    What's he got in his pocket? - What has.....?
    Thank you! I remembered is and has but I didn't remember does.
    In Spain, it took me a while to understand that
    "'sta por otro lao"
    Spanish always struggle to pronouce a starting s followed by a consonant so 'sta is something that wouldn't be said by a native. 'ta is something that a native would say in colloquial speech, though.
     

    gengo

    Senior Member
    American English
    In spoken English, "What does that mean?" often comes out like "What dazzat mean" or "Whazzat mean?" which sound more like "What is that mean?" than "What does that mean?"
    I agree with this.
    Also: "Whazzit mean?" for "What does it mean?"
    And: "Wuz / Wuhduz that mean?" for "What does that mean?"

    As Safak says, no native speaker would ever say "What is that mean?"
     
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